Thursday, July 1, 2010

Taliban attacks compound in northern Afghanistan

Newly appointed U.S. and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan U.S. Army General David Petraeus speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, July 1, 2010.
U.S. and Afghan security forces battled Taliban suicide attackers Friday after the militants stormed a building in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, police and witnesses said.

Gen. Abdul Razaq Yacoobi, chief of police in Kunduz, said five of six insurgents who entered the building have been killed. He described the building as an international guest house.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the attack began when a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle at the gate of the compound where the building is located. Six Taliban gunmen wearing suicide vests then attacked what Mujahid said was a U.S. Special Operations base. According to Mujahid, nearly all of the 52 foreigners at the compound have been killed.

Journalists at the scene told CNN that the building under attack is a USAID facility -- an American agency that provides economic and humanitarian assistance. Several dead and wounded have been removed from the compound, they said.

The fighting came as Gen. David Petraeus, the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, was due to arrive in Afghanistan Friday.


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