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Attack Near UN Offices in Southern Afghanistan Kills 5


An Afghan security guard, who was wounded in a suicide bombing, is taken to the hospital for treatment, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, October 31, 2011.

An Afghan security guard, who was wounded in a suicide bombing, is taken to the hospital for treatment, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, October 31, 2011.

The United Nations' refugee agency says three of its employees are among the five people killed in a suicide bombing in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Two other UNHCR staff members were injured in the attack early Monday.

Authorities say one attacker detonated a vehicle full of explosives near buildings used by the UNHCR and the U.S.-based International Relief and Development organization.

After the blast, at least three gunmen rushed into the area and seized control of an animal clinic. Afghan officials say security forces exchanged gunfire with the men for at least two hours before the attackers were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesman said a U.N. agency was the insurgent group's target.

At least five people were killed in the attack, including a security guard. More than four others were wounded.

Monday's attack comes two days after a suicide car bombing in the Afghan capital killed 17 people, including five NATO service members, eight civilian contractors, and four Afghans.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack in Kabul. But a Western diplomat, who did not want to be named, told news agencies that it was "very possible" that the attack on a NATO convoy was the work of the Haqqani network.

The al-Qaida-linked militant network has carried out a number of attacks on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The Haqqani network is believed to be based in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region.

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

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