On Monday, December 24, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated near the Ministry of Public Works, located near the Abdul Haq Square. Following the blast, suspected militants attacked the building. According to local sources, at least 28 people, including one police officer, were killed in the fighting between the militants and security forces which lasted several hours. It remains unclear who is behind the attack, although the Taliban are highly suspected. Similar attacks on security forces are to be expected in Afghanistan over the coming weeks.
Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are in part intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country and in the aftermath of parliamentary and district elections held October 20.
Individuals in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and adhere to instructions and advice issued by their home government. The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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