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Major Afghan Taliban Assault in Kandahar Kills 2, Wounds 20


A NATO military vehicle crosses the empty street after gunmen launched an attack on the compound of the governor of Kandahar province in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 7, 2011

A NATO military vehicle crosses the empty street after gunmen launched an attack on the compound of the governor of Kandahar province in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 7, 2011

The Taliban launched a series of coordinated deadly attacks Saturday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. At least two people were killed and 20 others were wounded in the fighting.

Taliban militants began their assault at midday with an attack on the Kandahar governor's compound

The militants used small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, and suicide bombers and struck at locations throughout the city.

Afghan authorities say targets included a building belonging to the intelligence service, a foreign special forces base and Afghan police checkpoints.

The attacks caused widespread panic across the city.

Kandahar shopkeeper Ali Khan says when heavy fighting and explosions broke out he and other shopkeepers closed their shops to prevent any looting.

NATO authorities say coalition forces supported the Afghan forces by providing perimeter security. They also say the Afghans prevented three car bombs from exploding.

Last week the Taliban announced it was launching the start of its annual spring offensive, which sees an increased number of attacks.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying the Taliban and al-Qaida were using the violence to hide their weakness following Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. special forces in Pakistan.

The attacks in Kandahar city followed a Taliban statement on Friday, saying the killing of bin Laden would give a boost to the insurgency. However a Taliban spokesman said Saturday's assault was not a revenge attack.

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