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Nine Afghans, 14 Attackers Killed in Suicide Bombings, Fighting

Eleven suicide bombers attacked government buildings in the eastern Afghan town of Khost Tuesday, killing at least nine people in the blasts and the gunbattles that followed.

Local officials say another 16 people were wounded when attackers struck the governor's office and a municipal building, taking several hostages.

U.S. and Afghan forces later stormed the building, where they killed three insurgents and freed the hostages.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it sent 30 attackers, including suicide bombers, to Khost, where a large U.S. military base is located.

In northern Kunduz province Tuesday, Afghan and coalition forces captured a known militant with suspected ties to the Pakistani-based Islamic Jihad Union senior leadership. Troops also detained another man suspected of being associated with the same network.

Also Tuesday, Britain's Ministry of Defense said one of its officers died from a wound sustained while fighting in southern Afghanistan. His death brings to 158 the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since fighting there began in late 2001.

In other news, the U.S. military accused the Taliban of using white phosphorus, which causes chemical burns, in attacks in eastern Afghanistan.

The U.S. military on Monday declassified documents showing at least 38 instances in which militants used white phosphorus in attacks, or white phosphorus weapons were found in stockpiles. The NATO-led force in Afghanistan supplied information on six other instances.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.