(KABUL) — The gate leading into the presidential palace in Afghanistan was rocked by several explosions and gunfire on Tuesday just as reporters were gathering to attend a news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“During the fighting we heard at least 12 explosions,” said the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary, who was at the palace in Kabul.
Some insurgents tried to enter the gate by using a fake pass but were stopped in their vehicle by guards on duty, Kabul police chief Gen. Mohamad Ayub Salangi said. That’s when they began to open fire on security forces.
According to Salangi, all the attackers were killed.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were targeting the presidential palace, the CIA headquarters in Kabul and the ministry of defense.
“This is by far the most serious security breach in the last 12 years and in fact an embarrassment for the Afghan government,” said Sarwary.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Barbara Starr, CNN
Jessica Ivins, KSL.com
Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Steve Almasy, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News