"I am here... the attack is going on around the IEC
compound," spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told Reuters by
telephone from a safe room inside the building.
An explosion was followed by gunfire, IEC staff and police said.
The IEC compound is close to offices used by the United Nations
Office Complex in Afghanistan (UNOCA) and other international
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the second
launched against an IEC office in the capital this week as the
Islamist insurgency seeks to derail the April 5 election it
calls a Western-backed "sham".
Noor said that IEC personnel were safe and that Afghan security
forces were in control of their building.
Police said that a nearby building that was privately owned had
been targeted for reasons that remained unclear.
"We can only confirm that a number of armed insurgents have
entered a building close to the Independent Election
Commission," said Kabul's police chief spokesman Hashmat
Another IEC official told Reuters that staff inside the compound
feared the neighboring building might be used by insurgents to
fire on their headquarters because it was several stories high.
(Reporting by Jessica Donati and Mirwais Harooni;
Richard Borsuk and Jeremy Laurence)
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