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Militant assault on Afghan government compound kills 29

A suicide and gun attack on a Kabul government compound killed at least 29 people on Monday, an Afghan official said.

When the attack occurred, officials in Afghanistan’s capital were already reeling from US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was slashing troop numbers, which many fear could undermine efforts to end the 17-year war with the Taliban. It also follows a major security shake-up in Kabul.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault on the site where the Ministry of Public Works and other offices are located.

In addition to those killed, at least 20 people were wounded in the attack, which lasted about seven hours, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. Most of the victims were civilians.

Afghan forces killed three of the attackers and freed more than 350 people trapped inside the compound, Danish added. A fourth attacker died in a car bomb explosion that initiated the attack.

One of the wounded civilians broke several bones after jumping from the third floor of a building to escape the attackers, an AFP correspondent at a hospital said.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the compound, with at least two military helicopters circling above.

Journalists near the scene reported hearing numerous explosions in the hours after the attack began mid-afternoon.

[Source: Asia Times, Afp, Hong Kong, 25Dec18]

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