Taliban suicide bombers storm government building in Kabul


Smoke rises from the Kabul traffic police headquarters building during an insurgent attack, in Afghanistan on Jan. 21. (Musadeq Sadeq/AP)

— A group of Taliban suicide bombers and other insurgents stormed the traffic police headquarters building in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital Monday, triggering a firefight with security forces that lasted several hours, officials and residents said.

Several police guarding the compound, which is adjacent to the headquarters for the Afghan Border Police, were wounded in the pre-dawn raid, officials said.

Two bombers blew themselves up while a few others exchanged shots inside the four-story building, they said.

“After the initial attack, one of the bombers drove a car towards the compound and detonated it,” said Mohammad Zahir, the chief for Kabul’s criminal investigation department. Part of the building was on fire, residents said.

There was no immediate report of casualties among civilians.

An official said the attackers used small arms and a few rounds of rocket-propelled grenades. Known as a commando-style raid, the Taliban have frequently executed such attacks against Western and Afghan government targets in recent years.

Last week, a group of Taliban suicide bombers attacked the headquarters of the country’s national intelligence agency in another part of Kabul. At least one guard for the agency was killed and more than two dozen people were wounded in that incident.

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