KABUL, Afghanistan (WWJ/AP) – Tuesday morning’s rocket attack in Afghanistan took place just a few blocks away from where a Michigan man is working as a contractor.
Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in the heart of the Afghan capital on Tuesday, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.READ MORE: Detroit Teen Shot In Head, Critically Injured
Russ Bedale of Metamora spoke with WWJ from Kabul, where he’s doing contract work. He said he could feel the blast from the explosions, which took place not far from where some NATO and government workers were.
“You have to wait a few minutes before you react because you really don’t know how to react,” said Bedale. “You’re just thinking about, you know, you’ve got to take shelter and try to get away from any windows, just in case.”
The gunmen were firing from a tall office building that is under construction at Abdul Haq square, which is about 300 yards from the U.S. Embassy. Police said the attack began when about half a dozen insurgents took over the building and opened fire.
Bedale said his area is protected by heavy walls, but it was close enough to turn a lot of heads.
“There’s a good dozen people out there, which is not normally the case, because the explosion was quite near,” said Bedale.READ MORE: Contract Talks To Resume At Kellogg's Amid Cereal Strike
An embassy spokeswoman said no staff were reported wounded, but officials said at least one Afghan police officer and two insurgents had been killed as gunfire and explosions resounded across the city well into the afternoon.
The surge of violence was a stark reminder of the instability that continues to plague Afghanistan nearly a decade after the U.S. invasion that ousted the Taliban in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States.
It was the third major attack in Kabul since late June, casting fresh doubts on the ability of Afghans to secure their own country as the U.S. and other foreign troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.
The American Embassy is on the edge of the Wazir Akbar Khan area, which is home to a number of other foreign missions.
At least one rocket landed on a building housing privately owned Tolo TV and another near a minivan carrying school children. Associated Press reporters at the scene saw at least four wounded Afghans near Abdul Haq square.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said a number of suicide bombers were attacking Afghan and foreign soldiers at Abdul Haq square. He claimed in a text message sent to reporters that suicide bombers using assault rifles also were attacking the offices of the Afghan intelligence service.MORE NEWS: Michigan Senate Approves End To Tax On Menstrual Products
The Associated Press contributed to this report.