Taliban Claim Responsibility For Large Explosion In Kabul

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Kabul attack

REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Children run away after an explosion in Kabul.

An explosion followed by heavy gunfire rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul today, and the Taliban is reportedly claiming responsibility for the attack.

The target of the attack is unclear. The New York Times reports that the explosion was near  the main compound of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan. Many guesthouses used by foreign staff are also located near that area. A spokesman for the Taliban told the BBC a guesthouse was targeted. 

There have been reports that a CIA facility was being targetted, but this has not been confirmed.

The explosion was so powerful it was heard two miles away, according to The Times. Several other, smaller explosions have also been reported. UN employees have been ordered into blast shelters. 

Several people have been wounded in the attack. One attacker was apparently a suicide bomber.

There were 5 attackers initially: 1 blew himself up in the Shahrara Tower, two killed by Afghan Police QRF, two still engaging Police QRF.

— LT Mustafa Kazemi (@combatjourno) May 24, 2013

Kabul police chief Gen Ayub Salangi told the BBC that they are "dealing with a well coordinated attack" and that at least two suicide attackers have been killed. 

The attackers were using AK-47s and grenades against Afghan police, according to an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman.

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