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Attackers Take Dozens Hostage In Afghanistan After Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up

Reuters

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Dozens of people were taken hostage by multiple gunmen in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad Tuesday after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gate of a government building.

A witness claims the attack began when a black car carrying three people pulled up to a department of refugee affairs building. One gunman got out and started firing, reported Reuters.

One of the attackers blew himself up outside the building while the other two entered the government office, the witness said.

Sohrab Qaderi, another witness and member of the local provincial council, said about 40 people were stuck inside the building as gunshots and hand grenade explosions littered the street outside.

The explosion reportedly happened during a meeting of NGOs working on refugee related issues, provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told Reuters.

At least 15 people have been killed in the attack so far with another 15 wounded, according to AFP news agency.

Provincial health director Najibullah Kamawal said a few of the dead were “burned beyond recognition.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the Taliban denied any involvement and the Islamic State has been involved in a string of attacks in recent weeks, the report noted. (RELATED: ISIS And Taliban Jihadis Are Blowing Each Other Apart In Afghanistan)

Two ISIS militants took hostages Saturday inside a midwife training center. One ISIS fighter detonated a suicide vest, killing himself, while another was killed by security forces. The attack also took place in Jalalabad and killed 12 people.

At least 10 people were killed Tuesday by a car bomb in the Philippines that officials say is also linked to a pro-ISIS group.

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