Taliban attack in Kabul ends, all militants killed

Kabul, Jan 21 (IANS) A brazen suicide attack mounted Monday morning by heavily armed Taliban rebels who seized the four-storeyed traffic police headquarters here ended after a fierce gun battle that left at least three police personnel dead and 22 injured. All attackers were also killed.

The Taliban Monday seized the traffic police office in the Afghan capital Kabul following a suicide attack in which at least two militants were involved, reported Xinhua.

The attack took place at 5.50 a.m. in the building located at Dehmazang intersection. The militants used rocket propelled grenade and the heavy weapons to fight the Afghan police and commandos in the area.

At least two militants were killed as they set off their explosive vests at the main gate of the compound, enabling other gunmen to enter the building. The rebels started firing against nearby Afghan Border Police and Civil Order Police facilities.

Operations against Taliban gunmen who seized the traffic police facility ended Monday afternoon, with all the militants having been killed, the Kabul police chief said.

"The operation has ended. All militants, who seized the four-storey Kabul Traffic Police Headquarters building early Monday morning, have been killed in the counter-attack operation," police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters.

"At least three traffic police officers were killed and 22 other people, including 18 civilians, were wounded in the gunfight and explosions in today's Taliban attack," a police official told Xinhua.

The assault started around 5.50 a.m. and ended at 2.15 p.m. Monday.

Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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

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

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

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