Explosion rocks central Kabul; Taliban claims 'suicide attacks'

Story highlights

  • Blast hits Sherpoor, a Kabul area that has embassies and the homes of many expatriates
  • Two Spanish police officers succumb to their injuries
  • A Taliban spokesman alleges suicide attacks; Afghan officials haven't confirmed casualties

(CNN)A car bomb exploded near the Spanish Embassy in Afghanistan's capital early Friday evening, a source briefed on the incident said on condition of anonymity, and sporadic gunfire rang out in the area afterward -- assaults for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Two Spanish police officers who were injured succumbed to their injuries, the Spanish government said on Saturday.
    Early Saturday, the Afghan government announced that the siege had ended.
    "Afghan Police Special Forces have killed all the attackers who were involved in last night terrorist attack in Kabul," information ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said in a tweet.
    The Taliban claimed responsibility for suicide attacks in Kabul's Sherpoor area Friday. Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, "Suicide attacks started on a guesthouse of invaders in the Sherpoor area of Kabul in the evening."
    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the assaults in Kabul's Sherpoor district a terrorist attack, telling reporters that it appeared to have targeted guesthouses near the Embassy.
    Although the Afghan government hasn't confirmed any casualties, information from the Spanish government and an aid group suggested at least eight people were injured.
    Taliban spokesman Mujahid said there were heavy casualties.
    Video distributed by Reuters news agency showed many security personnel in the area after darkness fell.
    Members of the Afghan security services arrive at the scene of the explosion in Kabul.
    The Sherpoor district hosts not only embassies, but also the homes of many expatriates.
    Rajoy, speaking in the Spanish port city of Alicante, told reporters that a Spanish police officer was injured.
    Emergency, an Italian aid group that runs a hospital about 700 meters from the Spanish Embassy, said it received seven Afghan patients after the assault.
    The anonymous source said most of the Spanish Embassy's staff were in a safe place, though officials still were trying to account for the whereabouts of all personnel.