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Afghan Information Ministry under attack in Kabul (Lead)

Saturday - April 20, 2019 3:16 pm , Category : WORLD
Kabul, April 20 (IANS) An explosion and gunfire was heard in the Afghan capital on Saturday as the Ministry of Information headquarters came under attack by gunmen, officials said.
The explosion happened at around 11.30 a.m. (local time), Ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi was cited as saying by the BBC.
An eyewitness told TOLO News that attackers entered the ministry building and were currently engaged in a gunfight with security forces on the first floor of the building. Others said firing was still being heard from the area.
The blast took place in a busy area near one of the city's most popular hotels, as well as the presidential palace, reports said.
"We heard a huge blast followed by gun fire outside the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Serena Hotel and the whole place has now been sealed off," according to a witness, Najib Rustami.
The incident caused panic among the people and there was fear of possible casualties, he said, adding that the media and people are not being allowed to enter the site and no one knows what exactly is going on there.
No group has yet said it carried out the attack, but it follows the suspension of talks between the government and Taliban insurgents.

--IANS soni/bg