Gunfight under way amid explosions in Kabul

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    Gunmen launched an assault on the interior ministry in Afghanistan’s capital after twin car-bomb explosions near the compound.

    Two blasts went of outside  the ministry in Kabul on Wednesday before assailants attempted to storm the building, triggering fierce clashes with security forces.

    “Casualties are feared in the attack,” Najib Danish, interior ministry spokesman, told Al Jazeera.

    “The explosion happened very close to the building and the fighters were attempting to go inside. The battle is under way.”

    There were no immediate reports of casualties. No armed group claimed responsibility. 

    Security around Kabul has been on high alert in recent days with more checkpoints and patrols as the government warned of attacks by the Taliban on government installations.

    Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said it was a complex attack as fighters attempted to enter the compound, which is heavily fortified.

    “There are very high blast walls around the compound to be able to protect it from attacks. There are guards on 24 hours a day,” she said.

    Both the Taliban and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have stepped up their attacks on Kabul, making it the deadliest place in the country for civilians in recent months.

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    Last week the Taliban called on Kabul residents to “keep away” from military and intelligence centres in the heavily fortified city, saying they plan more assaults as part of their annual spring offensive.

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