April 15, 2012 - 15:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, assaulting Western embassies in the heavily guarded, central diplomatic area and at the parliament in thewest, witnesses and officials said, according to Reuters.
Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the assault, one of the boldest on the capital sinceU.S.-backed Afghan forces removed the group from power in 2001.
The Taliban said their main targets were the German and British embassies and the headquartersof Afghanistan's NATO-led force. Taliban fighters had also launched assaults in two provinces, aspokesman for the insurgents said.
Afghan security forces, who are responsible for the safety of the capital, were scrambling toreinforce areas around the so-called green diplomatic section of the city centre.
Attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade that landed just outside the front gate of a house usedby British diplomats in the city centre and smoke billowed from the area after the blast. British embassy sources said staff were in a lockdown. Two rockets hit a British Embassy guard tower near the Reuters office in the city.
A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said via Twitter thatthere were no reports of casualties on possibly seven locations in Kabul.
However, fighting was going on near the U.S., Russian and German embassies, and at some ISAF facilities, the Twitter report said.
Three other rockets hit a supermarket near the German Embassy popular with foreigners. As thegunfire continued, U.S. army convoys could be seen coming to the area accompanied by Afghanpolice in flak jackets.
Attackers also fired rockets at the parliament building in the west of the city, and at the Russian embassy, a spokesman for the parliament said.