Two Afghan guards were killed when insurgents and suicide bombers attacked a private construction company that works with NATO in Herat, the BBC reported.
Insurgents carried guns and drove a car with a bomb into the company, starting a three-hour gun battle that also left five militants dead, The New York Times reported. All of the insurgents were strapped with explosives-packed suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers and assault rifles, Reuters reported.
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The attack took place just a half mile from NATO’s regional headquarters in Heart Province. Afghan and coalition forces evacuated 31 civilians from the compound during the attack, The Times reported. According to Reuters, the Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which also left four people wounded. The insurgents began the attack when they detonated a bomb near the entrance of the compound and stormed the building to begin the gun battle, Reuters reported. The compound is located along the main road to the airport, the Washington Post reported.
ES-KO is a private contractor for Italian troops deployed in Herat. The city has been one of the safest major cities in Afghanistan and was one of the seven locations that started transitioning coalition troops to Afghan security forces in July, The Times reported. Still, NATO troops have a substantial presence there.
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This attack comes just days after the Taliban launched an assault on a compound housing United Nations and international aid groups in southern Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported. Five people were killed, including three UN employees.