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Aug 14, 2011 at 04:41pm IST

19 dead in attack on Afghan governor's compound

Kabul: A team of six suicide bombers launched a coordinated assault on a provincial governor's compound in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 19 people in the latest high-profile attack to target prominent Afghan government officials, authorities said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the Parwan provincial capital of Charikar, some 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Kabul.

Afghan police said the assault began with a car bomb outside the front gate. The blast blew open a hole in the wall, allowing five insurgents wearing suicide vests and carrying automatic weapons to rush into the compound.

19 dead in attack on Afghan governor's compound

Fourteen of the dead were civilian Afghan government employees and five were policemen.

Afghan police said they killed three of the attackers as they approached the governor's house.

The attack appeared to target a meeting of top provincial security officials that was taking place in the compound. Afghan National Police General Abdul Jalil Rahimi said he was at the meeting, along with Parwan Governor Abdul Basir Salangi, top provincial Afghan army and police officials, and several NATO officers.

"Two of the bombers were able to get into the building of the governor's house," Rahimi said.

Fourteen of the dead were civilian Afghan government employees and five were policemen, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

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