A spokesman for Kabul police said the Taliban first struck the U.S. and other embassies, then launched assaults at several other targets in the city, including suicide-bomber attacks on a traffic-control office and on a high school. A school bus also was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, wounding several young children. Police rushed to the scene to unload bloodied children from the damaged bus.

This “is the first time that all parts of Kabul are under attack,” said Hashmatullah Stanakzai, a spokesman for the Kabul police…

A Taliban spokesman said in a telephone interview that a “huge” number of attackers with rocket launchers, machine guns, semiautomatic rifles, grenades and suicide vests had entered a construction site on Abdul Haq Square and had attacked the U.S. Embassy, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force headquarters, the presidential palace and the headquarters of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s chief intelligence agency.

The assault appeared designed to create the impression that the whole city was under attack, with suicide bombers blowing themselves up in various, far-flung locations.