8 dead in Afghan attack on British centre

AT least eight people were killed as a wave of suicide explosions rocked a British cultural centre in Kabul on Friday, a public holiday marking Afghanistan’s independence from Britain in 1919.

Five blasts, claimed by the Taliban, struck the British Council offices in Kabul amid bursts of heavy gunfire that began in the early morning and were ongoing four hours later. A fresh explosion hit the area at 10am local time 3.30pm (AEST).

The British Council is an official organisation part-funded by London that promotes cultural relations in offices around the world.

Police said at least the first two blasts were the work of suicide bombers.

“Eight people, mostly police, are killed and 10 others injured,” said interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui.

“There’s one person, one of the attackers who is still alive and resisting. The area has not yet been cleared.”

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai earlier said the dead included two policemen and two street cleaners who had been working nearby when the attackers struck.

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