KABUL, Afghanistan Two Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the Kabul traffic police headquarters early Monday before another group of militants stormed the compound, battling security forces for nine hours in an attack that left three policemen and all five attackers dead, authorities said.
The coordinated assault was the second raid in the heart of the Afghan capital in less than a week, a sign that the insurgency is determined to keep carrying out such spectacular attacks even as the U.S. and Afghan governments try to coax the Taliban into holding peace talks.
Nine hours after Monday’s insurgent attack began with two of the five attackers blowing themselves up, police commandos killed the last two insurgents holed up in the police headquarters, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said. He added that four traffic policemen and 10 civilians were also been wounded in the fighting.
Kabul Police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi said two Taliban suicide bombers died at the gate when their vests exploded, another blew himself up inside the building and two more were killed by security forces before they managed to detonate their explosive vests.
He said a sedan packed with explosives blew up near the gate a short time later. Such secondary devices are rigged to timers and designed to kill as many first responders as possible.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said was targeting a police training facility “run by foreign military forces.”