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Taliban seizes building in Afghan capital, gunfight continues

Taliban gunmen seized a four-storey traffic police office building in western Kabul on Monday morning and began firing against other police facilities in the vicinity, police said.

"The counter-attack is still going on. Our police forces reached to the top of the building. They are trying to kill or capture the gunmen numbered three to four who seized the building earlier this morning," General Mohammad Zhair head of anti- criminal department of Kabul police told local media.

The attack took place at about 5:50 a.m. local time in the building locating in Dehmazang intersection. At least six people including two civilians and four traffic police officers were wounded in the incident, according to Zhair.

The police official said that police has started an investigation and details will be released to media after that.

At least two militants were killed as they set off their explosive vests in the main gate of the compound enabling other gunmen to enter the building starting firing against nearby Afghan Border Police and Civil Order Police facilities, according to a police source at the site.

The sporadic firing still could be heard in the area nearly four hours after the attack and parts of the building caught fire sending a thick black smoke in the area, a Xinhua reporter near the site said.

The militants are using rocket propelled grenade and the heavy weapons to fight the Afghan police and commandos in the area.

Meantime, Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack.

Special operation police forces and Afghan commandos rushed to the site shortly after the fighting begun, a witness told Xinhua.

Security forces have cordoned off the area for precautionary measures.

The attack is the latest in a string of bombings that have targeted military and civilian compounds across the country.

On Wednesday Jan. 16, Taliban carried out a coordinated suicide bombing against Afghan intelligence agency compound in Kabul, killing one security officer and wounding 33 civilians.

In such attacks on security installations, many civilians has also been killed or injured because the most of security forces' offices are located at busy public places.

Every time such kind of incidents happened, people demanded government to keep such installations away from populated areas, but the demand is never satisfied.

[Source: Xinhua, Kabul, 21Jan13]

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