Official: 2 soldiers killed in an attack on Afghan army unit

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Official: 2 soldiers killed in an attack on Afghan army unit
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of an attack at the Marshal Fahim academy in Kabul, Afghanistan Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. An Afghan official and an eyewitness say blasts have been heard and a gunbattle is occurring near the military academy in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents attacked an Afghan army unit guarding a military academy in the capital Kabul on Monday, and at least two soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded, officials said.

A suicide bomber first attacked the army unit responsible for providing security for the military academy, and the attack was followed by a gunbattle in which two soldiers were killed, said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry.

Waziri said at least 10 other soldiers were wounded in the attack carried out by five insurgents. He said two insurgents were killed in the gunbattle and one was arrested alive by soldiers.

“The attack is against an army unit providing security for the academy and not the academy itself,” Waziri insisted. The soldiers are looking for another possible attacker, he added.

The attack started around 4 a.m., witnesses said, and fighting was continuing after daybreak.

Afzal Aman, commander of the Army Garrison, confirmed that an army unit was attacked with hand grenades around the area of the Marshal Fahim academy.

Hashmat Faqeri, a resident near the site, told The Associated Press he has heard sounds of explosions and a gunbattle.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, but both Taliban insurgents and militants from the Islamic State group have stepped up attacks against Afghan security forces.

Attacks have also increased recently in Kabul.

An attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city on Saturday, killing at least 103 people and wounding another 235. Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak said Sunday the attack involved a second ambulance that left the area, indicating some attackers escaped.

The Taliban claimed that attack, as well as an attack a week earlier in which militants stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing 22 people, including 14 foreigners, and setting off a 13-hour battle with security forces.

Masoom Stanekzai, the head of Afghanistan’s intelligence service, said five suspects have been arrested for their involvement in the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel and that another had fled the country. He said four people have been arrested in connection with Saturday’s attack.