Afghan child killed in Taliban attack on Kabul guest house

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An Afghan girl has been killed and a number of other people injured after a Taliban suicide squad attacked a guest house in Kabul, used by a US-based aid group.

A gun battle erupted after a suicide car bombing outside the building. Insurgents then forced their way in.

Police said at least 18 foreigners, including children, were evacuated and taken to a safe house.

Several others were held hostage and a siege followed until Afghan security forces killed the last Taliban insurgent inside.

The siege of the walled compound, which is also home to a small church, lasted for several hours.

A military commander said five attackers in total are dead. All the foreign nationals are said to be alive and well.

The guest house is used by Roots of Peace, a US-based group involved in de-mining and other projects in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday’s assault, saying in a statement that the target was a foreign guest house and a church.

Violence has spiralled in the run-up to Afghanistan’s presidential election on April 5, which the Taliban has vowed to disrupt.

Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election commission office in Kabul on Tuesday. Last week, nine people were killed in an attack on a highly-fortified hotel in the capital.

The nation of 30 million is holding an election to choose a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai, who is barred by the constitution from running for another term in office.

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