Afghan Defence Minister says ‘everything is fine’

Four people have been killed after militants attacked the home of the Afghan defence minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. The Defence Minister was not at home on Tuesday as gunmen detonated a car bomb and fired shots near Kabul’s heavily fortified Green Zone. His family was safely evacuated and the attackers killed.

The coordinated bomb and gun attack targeting the Afghan defence minister and several lawmakers in the country’s capital took place not far from the heavily fortified Green Zone. A security source said several attackers had stormed a lawmaker’s house after setting off the car bomb and were also shooting at the residence of the defence minister from there. The attack comes as fighting continues in other key Afghan cities, with the UN Security Council calling for an immediate end to the violence. Security officials told AFP four people were killed and 20 others wounded in Tuesday’s attack, with medical charity Emergency saying four bodies of people killed in the assault had been brought to its facility in Kabul. The interior ministry said the attack had been successfully repelled and all the attackers had been killed by security forces. The wave of blasts, which Washington said bore the “hallmarks” of the Taliban, came as the Afghan army urged residents to evacuate a besieged southern city ahead of a planned offensive against the insurgents after three days of heavy fighting.

Less than two hours after the car bomb detonated, another loud blast followed by smaller explosions and rapid gunfire again shook Kabul, also near the high-security Green Zone that houses several embassies, including the US mission. Violence has surged across the country since early May when the Taliban launched a nationwide offensive soon after the US-led foreign forces began their final withdrawal.