Kabul Suicide Attackers Bomb Govt. Offices

On a suicide mission, suspected Taliban bombers launched concerted attacks on government buildings in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, at least 20 people have reportedly been killed in the explosions and gunfire that spawned death, destruction and paranoia on Kabul streets.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted five buildings including the justice and education ministries, and warned of similar attacks in telephone calls to media offices.

Sources say the Justice and Education ministry offices were targeted as the Taliban blames them for sentencing the ‘Islamist’ fighters and propagating western education.

An interior ministry spokesman said four or five civilians and one policeman were killed at the prison directorate, which was hit by a double suicide strike, reported the Associated Press.

Accoesding to witnesses at least three civilians died at the Justice ministry where security personnel shot dead two attackers and another at the education ministry.

“Our men shot dead one suicide attacker at the first floor and another one at the third floor of the (justice) ministry,” an unnamed intelligence official was quoted as saying by AFP.

Security forces say, more attackers may still be present inside the offices that were yet to be sanitized.

The attacks came as US President Barack Obama considers the deployment of an additional 33,000 troops to Afghanistan to quell the Taliban.

Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to the troubled region, is in Islamabad to hold crucial talks with the Pakistani side as the US tries to up the ante against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

The Fidayeen also attacked the prison directorate in the north of the city, said an AFP reporter present at the scene.

Police officials speaking on condition of anonymity say there are lots of dead.

The AFP reporter says the area was splattered with blood and remains of those wounded and killed in the ghastly attack.

The intensity of the explosions smashed the panes on the five-storey building and the entrance where another attacker struck was completely destroyed.

A spokesman for the Taliban was quoted on Afghan television saying that seven attackers had entered the city and were targeting various government offices, adds Associated Press.

Security groups issued warnings for people to exercise caution and remain indoors.

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