Armed gunmen have raided the traffic police headquarters in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which began with a car-bombing.
Taliban forces targeted the headquarters Monday, killing four. A local police official told the AFP news agency that three of the five attackers were killed in the early part of the assault while two others wearing suicide vests were holed up in the five-story building and fired on police officers.
"A group of terrorists ... tried to enter the traffic police building," the head of Kabul's police criminal investigation department, Mohammad Zahir, said shortly after the attack began.
"Two of the bombers were shot dead at the entrance," he added.
At least three traffic police were killed and 10 wounded, including six civilians, in the raid which began earlier this morning when two bombers detonated explosives, Deputy Interior Minister General Abdul Rahman said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack not long after it started.
"Today at around 5:00 a.m. a large number of fedayeen (suicide bombers) entered a building in Dehmazang and are attacking an American training center, a police center and other military centers and have caused casualties on the enemy," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message to media.
Over eight hours after the violence began, the final two attackers were killed.
"It's over. The last two terrorists are dead and they were not even given the chance to detonate their suicide vests," said Kabul police chief General Mohammad Ayoub Salangi.
The reason it took so long to overpower the final two men, said Salangi, was "because our boys acted very careful."
"There were lots of important documents so we acted very carefully not to cause any damage to those documents," he said.
The violence began with a large car-bomb explosion that shattered the windows of nearby homes.
The attack comes after six suicide bombers attacked the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in Kabul last Wednesday, killing two. All six suicide bombers were killed in the attack.
dr/rg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)