Heavy gunfire and explosions echoed through an upscale neighborhood in Afghanistan’s capital late Tuesday night, as police surrounded the area.
It wasn’t immediately clear what was under attack in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, which is home to several embassies and at least one hotel. Police could not be immediately reached for comment, though officers could be seen blocking off roads into the area.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes amid intensified fighting across many parts of Afghanistan since the Taliban launched their warm weather offensive a month ago.
Taliban militants attacked a guesthouse days earlier this month in Kabul, killing an American, a British citizen, an Italian, four Indian nationals, five Afghans and two Pakistanis. The United Nations already has documented a record high number of civilian casualties 974 killed and 1,963 injured in the first four months of 2015, a 16 percent increase over the same period last year.
Afghan security forces have been struggling to fend off Taliban attacks since US and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of last year.
Earlier on Tuesday, four militants launched the attack on the court in the capital of Wardak province, some 40 kilometers from Kabul, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor.
One of the attackers blew himself up as the other three exchanged fire with police before being killed, Khogyani said.
In Uruzgan province, officials said that a district has been under attack by militants for the past two weeks.
"A high number of Taliban are attacking different checkpoints but we are not getting any response from senior officials in Kabul," district chief Abdul Karim Karimi said.
He said that since the fighting began, 12 soldiers have been killed and dozens were wounded.
"Unless we get government help, we are going to lose the district," he said.
On Monday, militants killed at least 26 police officers and soldiers in ambushes in southern Helmand province. As police retreated, militants surrounded the police headquarters of Naw Zad district and fired down on them from surrounding hills, district police chief Napas Khan said.