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At least 10 killed in Taliban attack on security contractor’s compound in Kabul

A U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter crewed by 1st Lt. Chuck Nadd, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Darren Dreher, Staff Sgt. Bruce Kleckner, and Sgt. Jay Herring, all members of Task Force Phoenix, flies a personnel movement mission over Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 4, 2013. (Capt. Peter Smedberg/U.S. Army)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Afghan officials say at least 10 people have been killed and 19 wounded in an attack that targeted a foreign security contractors’ compound in the capital, Kabul.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said an unknown number of gunmen entered the compound after a car bomb exploded near the facility on November 28, triggering a gun battle with Afghan security forces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Basir Mujahid, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said security forces were conducting a clearing operation at the site in eastern Kabul.

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Mujahid said the target of the attack was the British security contractor group G4S, which is based near an industrial park on the main road leading out of Kabul.

According to its website, G4S provides security for the UK Foreign Office in Kabul.

Also in Kabul, gunmen attacked the residence of former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, who was hosting a meeting with another ex-spy chief, Rahmatullah Nabil.

Nabil wrote on Twitter that the attack was “quickly repelled” by Saleh’s guards and that both men were “fine.”

The incidents came only hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva of plans to seek a peace agreement with the Taliban.

Efforts to open peace talks with the Taliban have picked up following the appointment of U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, but there has been no reduction in the violence which kills thousands of people in Afghanistan every year.

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The assault on G4S is the second high-profile attack claimed by the Taliban on foreigners in as many days.

On November 27, three U.S. soldiers were killed in a blast near Ghazni city in central Afghanistan that was also claimed by the militant group.