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Attack on Afghan Defense Ministry Kills 2

An Afghan security official gestures to traffic with a handgun as he works to secure a road in front of the Defense Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 18, 2011.

A man wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire Monday inside the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul, killing at least two people in the third such attack on a security installation in less than a week.

Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the attacker was wearing a suicide vest but was killed before he could detonate it during the attack in the Afghan capital. Seven people were wounded in the attack, in addition to the deaths.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack's target was French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet. French officials say Longuet was not in the ministry at the time.

The incident at the Defense Ministry is the latest in a series of attacks on Afghan security forces by assailants wearing military or police uniforms.

On Saturday, an Afghan army soldier killed five NATO and four Afghan soldiers in eastern Laghman province. A day earlier in southern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber dressed as a police officer killed Kandahar province's police chief.

In other violence on Monday, authorities say a roadside bomb hit a police vehicle in eastern Ghazni province, killing six Afghan police officers.

Elsewhere in the east, a protest against the arrest of a local cleric by NATO forces turned deadly in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province. At least one person was killed and more than 10 others wounded when gunfire broke out during Monday's rally.

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

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