ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul Monday and militants breached the compound, Afghan officials said, in a complex hours-long attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

All the attackers had been killed and the compound secured roughly four hours after the assault began, Afghanistan’s interior ministry said, adding that all embassy staff were safe and only one policeman wounded “slightly”.

There were conflicting reports about how the attack unfolded. The interior ministry said at least four militants had attacked the embassy, beginning with a suicide bomber who detonated his vest at the compound entrance.

“The quick-response police forces arrived in time and evacuated the Iraqi diplomats to safe place. No embassy staff have been harmed, only one policeman was wounded slightly,” a ministry statement said.

An Afghan security official at the site of the attack and a number of witnesses however suggested the attackers were dropped by a car nearby, who then stormed the Iraqi embassy building with hails of bullets, before penetrating and detonating themselves inside.

Black smoke billowed into the air above the neighborhood in northwestern Kabul as the sound of gunfire, blasts and ambulance sirens could be heard. Panicked residents, including women and children, could be seen fleeing the area.

The Iraqi foreign ministry in Baghdad said the charge d’affairs was among those evacuated and that it was monitoring the situation with Afghan authorities, without giving further details.

The Afghanistan affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement by its propaganda agency Amaq. It said two of its members attacked the embassy killing at least 27 guards and other embassy staff.

The militant group is known to often exaggerate its claims on the number of causalities inflicted. (AFP)

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ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Damaged building of the Iraqi embassy is seen after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan security arrive at the site of a suicide blast near Iraq’s embassy in Kabul on July 31, 2017.
A series of explosions and the sound of gunfire shook the Afghan capital on July 31, with a security source telling AFP that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the Iraqi embassy. “Civilians are being evacuated” from the area as the attack is ongoing, said the official, who declined to be named.
(Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

An Afghan policeman sets up a perimeter at the site of an explosion in Kabul on July 31, 2017.
A series of explosions and the sound of gunfire shook the Afghan capital on July 31, with a security source telling AFP that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the Iraqi embassy. “Civilians are being evacuated” from the area as the attack is ongoing, said the official, who declined to be named.
(Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Smoke billows in this still from video obtained from social media, in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Social media website/via Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide blast near Iraq’s embassy in Kabul on July 31, 2017.
A series of explosions and the sound of gunfire shook the Afghan capital on July 31, with a security source telling AFP that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the Iraqi embassy. “Civilians are being evacuated” from the area as the attack is ongoing, said the official, who declined to be named.
(Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan security personnel leave the Iraqi embassy building after an attack in Kabul on July 31, 2017.
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul July 31 and militants breached the compound, Afghan officials said, in a complex hours-long attack claimed by the Islamic State group. (Wakil Kohsar//AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan women run away after a blast and gun fire at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan Air forces helicopters fly over the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and insurgents during an attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan security officials secure the roads leading to the Iraqi embassy after an attack allegedly carried out by the Islamic State, in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017. (Jawad Jalali/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Smoke rises from the scene of an ongoing attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017. (Hedayatullah Amid/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a suicide blast near Iraq’s embassy in Kabul on July 31, 2017.
A series of explosions and the sound of gunfire shook the Afghan capital on July 31, with a security source telling AFP that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in front of the Iraqi embassy. “Civilians are being evacuated” from the area as the attack is ongoing, said the official, who declined to be named.
(Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan policemen stand guard outside the Iraqi embassy after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

A member of the Afghan security forces aims his rifle during gun fire at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Smoke rises after bomb laden vehicle targeted Iraqi embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 31, 2017. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Security force member stands over a military car before leaving the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and insurgents after an attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

An Afghan boy cries near the scene of an attack by the Islamic State militants targeting the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 31, 2017. (Jawad Jalali/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

ISIS claims bombing attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul

Afghan policemen stand guard outside the Iraqi embassy after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 31, 2017. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

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