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BREAKING: 29 DEAD, 23 Wounded

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Dozens Killed, Injured In Militant Raid On Kabul Government Compound

By RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan at Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

Security forces in the Afghan capital, Kabul, say 29 people were killed and at least 23 injured in a daylight militant attack on a government compound in the eastern part of the city on December 24.

More than 300 people who were in the compound, which housed the Public Works Ministry and other government agencies, when it was attacked were freed by security forces in a gun battle that lasted around eight hours.

Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told journalists that three attackers had been killed by security forces, while a fourth died in a suicide car-bomb attack that started the incident.

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“There are still some hostages with the enemy and a clearance operation is going on,” Rahimi said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.

The attack began in the afternoon when a vehicle was exploded at the entrance to the compound just as employees were preparing to go home for the day.

Journalists reported ongoing exchanges of gunfire hours after the initial attack.

The incident was the 22nd attack in Kabul since January. In all, more than 500 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in attacks in the capital this year.

On December 20, an official in the United States said President Donald Trump was planning to pull at least 5,000 U.S. troops out of Afghanistan in the near future. That news came one day after Trump said he would withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria.

U.S. forces make up the bulk of the international Resolute Support mission that is training and advising Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban and Islamic State militants.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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