A television channel headquarters was attacked by terrorists in Kabul on Tuesday, leaving at least one staff member dead and many others wounded.
The terrorists were disguised as Afghan police officers, and the attack was quickly claimed by the Islamic State. Afghan security forces entered and cleared the compound soon after, and Shamshad TV was back on the air within hours.
Targeting journalists and media figures is a standard practice for terrorist and extremist groups, and has been somewhat routine in Afghanistan for years. But what is significant to note is that the attackers wore police uniforms, continuing a trend that has been working its way towards Europe and the West, where people are not accustomed to coordinated attacks from organized and disguised terrorists.
The Taliban has donned military uniforms and conducted spectacularly effective attacks against the Afghan government, killing hundreds in a number of surprise attacks over the years. One of the more infamous scenarios involving this tactic was against Camp Bastion in Helmand Province in 2012, where 15 Taliban fighters wearing American Army Combat Uniform (ACU) camouflage were able to penetrate the joint U.S.-U.K. base and wreak havoc, killing two U.S. Marines and damaging and destroying nine military aircraft that cost millions to replace. All but one of the Taliban attackers were killed in the ensuing chaos, but the damage was done.
More recently, four Islamic State gunmen dressed as doctors stormed the Sardar Daud Khan hospital in Kabul, the largest military hospital in the city, killing more than 30 people. It took Afghan Special Forces hours to clear the hospital and kill the attackers.