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Afghan national security forces effectively countered an insurgent attack in downtown Kabul today [18 January], and with ISAF support, are securing the area where several explosions and small-arms fire were reported this morning.
"Today's attack by the Taliban in Kabul is yet another example of their brutality and contempt for the Afghan people," said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, ISAF commander. "Afghan national security forces effectively dealt with the situation and should be commended. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the innocent victims of this cowardly attack."
Near the Feroshgae Afghan Shopping Center and Serena Hotel in the downtown area, ANSF and Kabul security forces fiercely engaged insurgents who were using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms, killing at least six of the insurgents. The Afghan national army and the Afghan national police report two casualties each in today's engagement.
The number of civilian casualties is unknown at this time.
The coordination demonstrated by the various security forces today highlights their improved effectiveness in protecting Afghan citizens.
The insurgent attack has also been condemned by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
"We are aware that the Taliban have claimed responsibility for this attack," said UNAMA Spokesman Aleem Siddique. "We condemn this attack unreservedly. It is of particular concern that this took place in an area with so many civilians present."
Kabul City authorities continue to work hand-in-hand with ANSF to bring this attack on Afghan civilians to an end. ISAF forces are assisting where needed.
Further information will be released as it becomes available.