At least six people, including two Spanish national, have been killed in an attack by Taliban militants on a diplomatic quarter in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The attack began with a huge car bomb during the rush hour in the heavily-protected area on Friday; the assailants subsequently laid siege to a “guesthouse,” and engaged in shootouts with the security forces who later arrived at the scene.
The standoff came to an end early on Saturday as security forces killed the last of the assailants.
At least four Afghan forces and two Spanish security officers were killed in the incident. Some nine other Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility. A Taliban spokesman said "an invader's guest house" was the attack’s target.
The site of the attack was near Spain's embassy, hence the Spanish casualties.
According to some reports, at least four Taliban militants were involved in the attack.
The assault was the second high-profile attack claimed by the Taliban since Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited Pakistan for a regional peace conference earlier this week. The two-day meeting ended Wednesday, with an agreement between both countries to reinforce bilateral cooperation in the battle against Taliban.
As the conference was under way in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the Taliban carried out a large-scale attack on the airport in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, killing at least 54 people.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity years after the United States and its allies attacked the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. Although the Taliban militant group was removed from power as a result of the invasion, many areas in the country are still threatened by insecurity.