By Carlo Muñoz - 05/24/13 06:13 PM EDT
Taliban fighters strafed the IOM compound with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar fire until security forces beat back the insurgent attack, according to Reuters.
The attack comes a week after a massive car bomb ripped through an American convoy traveling through downtown Kabul, killing 16 people, including six American military advisers.
Hezb-i-Islami, a militant faction of the Afghan insurgency allied with the Taliban, claimed responsibility for that bombing, according to news reports at the time.
Earlier this year, U.S. and coalition commanders warned that singular strikes on high-profile targets like Thursday's attack would be the hallmark of this year's fighting season in Afghanistan.
The American and NATO strategy for this year's fighting season is focused on flushing out Afghan insurgents from the so-called Pashtun heartland of the Taliban — a swath of territory stretching north from southwest Afghanistan into the eastern part of the country along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
American units in the country during this fighting season will take a back seat to Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) units in combat operations this spring as U.S. troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan next year.
Roughly 66,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan, with half of those forces scheduled to withdraw from the country this spring. The final 32,000 American forces remaining in the country will start coming home following the country's presidential election in April 2014 — officially ending America's combat role.