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5 killed as Taliban storms foreign office in Kabul

Five people were killed and several others wounded after Taliban gunmen stormed a foreign office building in the Afghan capital of Kabul Saturday evening, sources said.

"One foreign and a local staff of a targeted aid agency were killed in the blasts and gunshots besides three gunmen," a security source told Xinhua at the site.

The compound houses a South Africa NGO and the nationality of the killed workers were not known at this span of time, the source said.

"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-story building in Kart-e-Say, a locality in western Kabul, at around 04:00 p.m. (1130 GMT) and counter attack lasted for three hours, he said.

The injured include one foreigner and one 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 U.S. 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.

This is the 11th suicide and complex attack in the past two weeks in Kabul, leaving more than 10 killed and nearly 100 others injured.

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

More than 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 United States plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.

[Source: Xinhua, Kabul, 29Nov14]

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