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Afghanistan: Attack Ongoing on Jalalabad Government ID Center

Afghan security forces arrive near the site of an attack in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan, Sept. 18, 2019.

A multi-pronged attack is under way on the Afghanistan national electronic ID distribution centrt in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province.

An explosion at the front gate of the compound cleared the way for multiple attackers to enter the compound Wednesday afternoon, according to Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor.

Special forces surrounded the compound soon after and fighting continues. So far they have rescued at least 12 employees.

An employee of the distribution center Naveen, Hasan Zeb, told VOA that he was wounded in the initial explosion along with some colleagues. According to Khogyani, 10 people were wounded in the attack. No group has claimed responsibility so far.

On Tuesday, two attacks, one on President Ashraf Ghani's election rally in Parwan and another on a defence ministry office in Kabul killed at least 48 people. The Taliban claimed both attacks, warning of more to come, especially on election related activities.

Afghans will head to the polls on September 28th to elect the next president. Earlier this month, negotiations between an American delegation and the Taliban that might have resulted in a reduction of violence in parts of the country were unexpectedly called off by U.S. President Donald Trump after a Taliban attack that left a U.S. soldier dead.

Fighting has since intensified. An attack on the country's electricity infrastructure has left Kabul and 10 other cities struggling to cope since Sunday.