Three suicide bombers stormed a government building in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, starting a six-hour gun battle that ended with at least 10 people dead, the Associated Press reported.
The insurgents broke into a communications building in Sharan, the provincial capital near Kabul. As the gun fight continued on, two attackers set off their suicide bomb vests, the AP reported.
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According to the BBC, a senior security official in Sharan said the suicide bombers "wanted to take over the building and use it as a launching pad to attack other government buildings. They came with enough ammunition to fight for hours."
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack in an emailed statement from spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, Reuters reported. Two policeman were killed in the attack, the BBC reported.
The building attacked by insurgents was close to the home of Paktika governor Mohebullah Samim, Reuters reported. Samim said troops from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force provided air support. He also believed there were four suicide bombers, but the interior ministry said it was only three.
In the statement from the Taliban, the organization said the attack included multiple targets, including the governor’s office, the provincial reconstruction team and the intelligence headquarters. However, the ministry said only one building was actually attacked, the AP reported.
A witness described the scene to the BBC. "I was about to enter the building when attackers opened fire on the guards,” said Haji Baazjan, a local tribal elder. "Everyone, including myself, started running. As both sides exchanged fire, I heard an explosion and in a matter of seconds, there was heavy fighting."
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