Officials said Wednesday a suicide bomber struck outside the Interior Ministry in the capital, allowing gunmen to pass through an outer gate where they traded fire with security forces, who eventually killed all the attackers.
A spokesman for the ministry, Najib Danesh, said eight suicide bombers were involved in the attack, which began with a vehicle bombing outside the compound.
At least four Taliban insurgents were also killed and another militant was wounded during the operation, the provincial government said.
A week before that, 60 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration center in the city. He said some Taliban figures and leaders have publicly expressed interest in reconciliation despite recent attacks on government facilities.
Attacks in recent months claimed by either Taliban or Islamic State fighters have killed scores in Kabul and elsewhere, demonstrating the Taliban's capability to carry out strikes even in the heart of the country's capital. A provincial official who spoke to Stars and Stripes on condition of anonymity confirmed that Afghan security forces had withdrawn from the governor's compound and police headquarters.
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Sources have said National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives were prevented by police force members from entering the area to help end the attack. The attackers did not manage to enter the main compound.
The militants were also threatening to overrun parts of Takhar province in the country's north this week, claiming to have seized arms and equipment after seizing police checkpoints in the besieged Kwajah Ghar and Dasht-e Qalah districts along the Tajikistan border. "The police easily, in 10 or 15 minutes, killed all three of them".
Some Taliban leaders are participating in private talks with Afghanistan government officials to jumpstart peace talks, even as fighting endures in the 16-year war, the top USA commander in the country said Wednesday.
The Taliban dismissed the report as "propaganda" and said the attack had hit two civilian houses in Musa Qala, killing five civilians and wounding three.
He said the attackers set off a suicide auto bomb at the entrance to the station before three suicide bombers tried to enter. The Taliban have threatened to attack voter registration centers. No one immediately claimed the attack.