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Five Dead After Taliban Assault on Kabul Guest House

  • VOA News

Afghan policemen stand at the site of a Taliban attack on a foreign aid workers' guest house in Kabul Nov. 29, 2014.

Afghan policemen stand at the site of a Taliban attack on a foreign aid workers' guest house in Kabul Nov. 29, 2014.

Afghan officials say two civilians and three Taliban attackers have died in an assault on a foreign guest house in Kabul.

Government and military officials told reporters Saturday that gunmen stormed the guest house near parliament and fired weapons for a number of hours as they struggled to gain control.

The government's interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said two of the gunmen were shot to death and the third attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body.

Of the civilian victims, at least one was a foreign national. Both worked for an international aid organization.

Security forces rescued eight people who were held hostage during the attack — six Afghans and two foreigners.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the house was a center for Christian evangelism. There were conflicting accounts on what the house was used for.

The guest house attack was the latest in a string of attacks in the Kabul neighborhood that was home to a number of embassies and international organizations.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, Taliban militants are battling Afghan forces at a former British military base.

A spokesman for the governor of Helmand province where the base known as Camp Bastion is located, said at least five Afghan soldiers and 20 Taliban fighters have been killed in the attack.

Authorities say the fighting at Camp Bastion in southern Helmand province began Thursday.

Camp Bastion was handed over to the Afghan military last month as part of the international coalition's withdrawal of most of its troops by the end of the year.

The base housed British, U.S. and other international troops during the Afghanistan war.

Also in Helmand province, officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least five soldiers and wounded seven in an attack on an army checkpoint in Sangin district.

The White House, meanwhile, released a statement praising the Afghan parliament's approval Thursday of the Bilateral Security Agreement and the NATO Status of Forces Agreement.

One agreement provides the U.S. military with the legal framework to fight the remnants of al-Qaida and train Afghan security forces. The other gives NATO the legal standing to carry out a support mission after the international security force completes its mission later this year.

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