Taliban attack Afghan foreign office, five killed

Kabul: At least five people were killed and many injured when Taliban militants stormed Afghanistan government's foreign office building here Saturday , sources said.

According to a security source at the attack site, a foreign and a local staff of a targeted aid agency were killed in the blasts and gunshots carried out in the attack apart from three gunmen, Xinhua reported.

The compound houses a South African non-government organisation. But the nationality of the killed workers could not be immediately ascertained, the source added.

"Police rescued two foreign and several Afghan workers of the compound. The fighting is over now," Ayoub Salangi, deputy interior minister in charges of security, told local media.

The attackers seized the two-storey building in Kart-e-Say, a locality in western Kabul, at around 4.00 p.m. and the counter attack lasted for three hours, he said.

The injured include one foreigner and a police commander of the Crisis Response Unit, the source noted.

At least two explosions took place and parts of the building caught fire, the source said, adding "It was not known how many people were inside the building when the attack occurred."

The Taliban has intensified attacks with a string of bombings over the past couple of months as the NATO and US forces are withdrawing from the country. The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.

In another development early Saturday, more than 10 Afghan soldiers were killed and four injured in two separate attacks on army outposts in Helmand province, according to officials.

Over 34,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan. Nearly 24,000 of them are Americans and the US plans to curtail its forces to less than 10,000 next year.

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