The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing and a gun attack on the Iraqi embassy in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gates of the embassy on Monday before three gunmen stormed into the building, setting off a four-hour firefight that ended after Afghan security forces killed all attackers.
Initial reports suggested that the suicide bomber was in a car, but later on it became clear that the attacker was on foot.
ISIL, also known ISIS, claimed its fighters killed seven guards, but Afghanistan’s interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said only one police officer was injured in the assault.
The Iraqi embassy is located in a part of the city known as Shahr-e-Naw, which lies outside the so-called Green Zone where most foreign embassies and diplomatic missions are located and which is heavily fortified with a phalanx of guards and giant cement blast walls.
Instead, the embassy is located in a residential area with homes, schools, shops and restaurants.
The attack comes a week after at least 35 people were killed in a Taliban-claimed suicide attack on government workers in Kabul and underlines the precarious security in Afghanistan as the US administration considers an overhaul of its policy in the region.
ISIL is believed to be on the back foot in the Middle East, where analysts have said it has lost more than 60 percent of its territory and 80 percent of its revenue.