British security firm G4S said Thursday that five of its employees were killed and 32 injured on Wednesday in a Talebanclaimed attack on one of its compounds in Kabul. The company, which provides security for British diplomats, said one Briton and four Afghans were killed in the attack. Militants detonated a vehicle bomb outside the compound before trying to fight their way inside. “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that five of our employees were killed and 32 were injured, five of them seriously,” managing director Charlie Burbridge said in a statement. “We are committed to our security role in support of the people of Afghanistan, and we are determined that incidents such as this will not prevent the vital work that the international community conducts from continuing,” he said.
Wednesday’s assault came hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced the formation of a team for prospective peace talks with the Taleban, as the United Nations renewed calls for direct negotiations between Kabul and the insurgents.
Meanwhile, at least 30 civilians were killed along with 16 Taleban fighters as Afghan government forces battled insurgents in southern Helmand province overnight, provincial officials said Wednesday. In the eastern part of the capital Kabul, Taleban insurgents staged a coordinated attack against security forces when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives and fighters then engaged them in a gun battle, an Afghan official said. (Agencies)