Afghanistan: 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in Kabul

Afghanistan: 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate's office in Kabul

The death toll from a powerful explosion followed by a gun battle at vice-presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh’s office on Sunday in Kabul reached 20 with at least 50 wounded, officials said on Monday as cleanup operations began.

Several Muslim terrorists remained holed up inside the building for over six hours before being eliminated by security forces.

Amrullah Saleh, the vice-presidential candidate and former intelligence chief was evacuated from the building and moved to a safe location.

No terror group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which came at the start of official campaigning for presidential elections scheduled for Sept. 28.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran Afghan-American diplomat who is leading the U.S. side in peace negotiations with the Taliban, condemned Sunday’s attack and said the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

“The attack on Amrullah Saleh’s political party offices was grotesque and a clear act of terrorism,” he said on Twitter.

Sunday’s attack added to an anxious mood in Kabul, where there is concern over chaotic election preparations and uncertainty about the future of U.S. military support for the Afghan government.

Afghanistan 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate's office in Kabul (3)Afghanistan 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate's office in Kabul (2)