Afghan capital Kabul hit by Taliban attack

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Editor’s note: It looks from here as if the Taliban are launching a surge of their own.  The news of a coordinated attack by suicide bombers and gunmen armed with rocket propelled grenades against government buildings and other targets in downtown Kabul morning was reported by the BBC.  Allied forces “firm grip” on Kabul making it safe for dinner and a movie may be overstated. Bob Higgins

Kabul was rocked by blasts as the sound of gunfire filled the streets

Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers have attacked buildings in the heart of the Afghan capital, Kabul, setting off explosions and sparking gun battles.

Fighting erupted near the Serena Hotel and the presidential palace, although Afghan President Hamid Karzai says security has now been restored. The Taliban said 20 of its fighters had taken part in the attack on Kabul.

Two civilians and three security personnel have been killed plus 71 others wounded, officials say. Seven attackers had also been killed, Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said.

The city is now calm but there is concern that some of the attackers may still be at large.

It is the latest in a series of increasingly brazen attacks on Kabul.

A statement on a Taliban website said the raid had targeted government buildings and the hotel.

The head of US forces in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, praised the work of Afghan security forces in quelling Monday’s attack.

“Today’s attack by the Taliban in Kabul is yet another example of their brutality and contempt for the Afghan people,” he said in a statement issued by the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

“Afghan National Security Forces effectively dealt with the situation and should be commended. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the innocent victims of this cowardly attack.”

The Taliban fighters were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms, the Isaf statement said.

Read more and watch the video at BBC News

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