Gunmen launched a pre-dawn raid on a military compound in Kabul on Monday, officials said, in an assault claimed by ISIL Takfiri group via its propaganda arm Amaq.
Defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said five soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in the assault that marked the third major attack in the city in recent days.
“An Afghan army battalion has come under attack this morning. The attackers wanted to breach the battalion,” Waziri told AFP, adding the raid had ended.
“Two bombers detonated themselves and two were killed by our forces and one was detained alive. The fighting is over but unfortunately we have five deaths and 10 wounded.”
He said Afghan forces had seized a rocket, two Kalashnikovs, and a suicide vest from the attackers.
Officials said the attack was on an army battalion near the Marshal Fahim military academy where high-ranking officers are trained and which was initially identified as the target. An officer at the academy told AFP he could hear an explosion and gunfire.
The gunmen did not enter the heavily fortified compound, which is on the western outskirts of the city, an Afghan security source said.
Witnesses told AFP they heard several explosions and gunfire at around 5:00 am (0030 GMT). Security forces have swarmed the area and blocked roads leading to it, but earlier an AFP reporter at the scene could also hear explosions.
The latest raid comes days after a Taliban suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of the capital, killing at least 103 people and wounding 235 in one of the worst bombings in the city in recent years.
On January 20, Taliban fighters stormed Kabul’s landmark Intercontinental hotel and killed at least 25 people, the majority foreigners, in an ordeal lasting more than 12 hours.