“We can confirm that a number of insurgents have entered the building,” said Attaullah Khughyani. “Who they are, and what their target is, is still not clear.”
He said there appeared to have been at least three attackers, two of whom had blown themselves up while at least one was still fighting.
Heavy gunfire could be heard from around the building of RTA, Afghanistan’s national broadcaster, located close to the provincial governor’s compound.
ISIS claimed responsible for the attack.
Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar, the eastern province on the border with Pakistan where Islamic State fighters have established a stronghold, but there is also a strong Taliban presence in the region.
Insurgents fighting to oust the Western-backed government in Kabul have conducted a series of high-profile attacks this year on targets including Afghanistan’s largest military hospital and a military base in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
In January, dozens were killed in a flurry of attacks across the country, including twin suicide bombings near the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, an explosion at a Kandahar province government compound and a suicide bombing in Helmand province.
In February, a team of three drivers and five Red Cross field officers was on its way to deliver livestock materials to an area in Jawzjan province when “unknown armed men” attacked it, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
In August 2016, an attack led to the deaths of 13 people including students and staff at Kabul’s American University of Afghanistan.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 injured in 2016, marking the highest number of civilian casualties since the UN began documenting statistics in Afghanistan.