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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Assailants launch strike on ministry

February 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Assailants with suicide vests and assault rifles attacked the Justice Ministry and another government building today in Kabul, the Afghan capital, causing an unknown number of deaths, officials and witnesses said.

A spokesman for the Taliban said it was responsible.

At least five men armed with rifles and grenades attacked the ministry, said Mohammad Ali, an employee. Two assailants died in the ensuing gunfight with security officers.

A worker said he saw three employees dead and a man "shooting at every employee he saw in the hall."

Another suicide bomber attacked the ministry's corrections department in another part of town, said police officer Zulmay Khan. There were no details on casualties from that attack.

The assault came a day after a bomb struck a NATO convoy in eastern Afghanistan, killing two soldiers and wounding one, a spokesman for the alliance said.

Police spokesman Wazir Pacha said the attack in Khowst province was carried out by a suicide car bomber. But the NATO spokesman said it was a roadside bomb. The majority of NATO troops in the area are American, though the spokesman would not confirm the troops' nationalities.

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