I assumed the seat and BANG! An SVBIED (Suicide Vehicle Borne IED) exploded a few blocks away rattling the windows...then the gunfire. And I'm sitting there thinking, man is this bad timing!
As the shooting didn't sound too close I stayed where I was. Completing my mission, I went outside and stood in the rain for a bit and listened to the pitter patter of AK fire. Someone was having a bad morning. I went out to the street and asked our Afghan guards if they knew what got hit. They told me it was near the Safi Landmark Hotel, which is a four-star hotel that opened up in 2006 at the edge of the diplomatic quarter in town. OK, far enough away not to get excited.
It turns out the attack was done by five bad guys this time. The first one blew himself up in the SVBIED. The second one was shot and killed before he could detonate and the other three holed up in a guest house nearby until the police went in and killed them. Luckily it was a Friday and The Prophet's birthday (PBUH). The attack occured before folks really got moving around and the normally busy shops in the area weren't open yet.
The Safi Landmark Hotel
Apparently most of the windows in the front were shattered by the blast.
The pictures below are of the scene afterwards by Reuters photographer Ahmad Masood.