Gunmen hit intelligence training centre in Afghan capital

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Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Friday, the Taliban ambushed and killed five local police officers in northern Baghlan province, according to Ekramuddin Sarih, the provincial chief police. The blast left the floor strewn with twisted metal, broken desks and human limbs.

"Attacks on educational institutes by hardline Islamic groups are one of the most horrific issues facing our nation today", said Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak after Wednesday's attack on the Mawoud Academy, a private study institute in west Kabul.

An Afghan security forces convoy patrol after a Taliban attack in Ghazni city, Afghanistan August 14, 2018.

The firefight erupted near a training facility overseen by the National Security Directorate - Afghanistan's intelligence agency - with the gunmen holed up in a construction site near residential homes, an official at the scene said. It followed a series of major Taliban raids in various parts of the country that have claimed the lives of at least 200 security forces in less than a week.

Last Friday, hundreds of Taliban fighters had launched an attack on Ghazni, the capital of the Ghazni province, leading to five days of clashes between the rebels and the security forces that killed almost 500 people, including 326 Taliban fighters, and over one hundred members of the security forces.

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Soon after the deadly attack, condemnations and condolences started pouring in.

The death toll in the suicide bombing attack which hit Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday reached 48.

Funeral prayers were to be held later Thursday for the dead.

Then last week, the Taliban launched several assaults on cities and Afghan military bases across multiple provinces.

"The Taliban will try to have an upper hand during talks, so we can not rule out more attacks until a ceasefire", said Taliban expert Rahimullah Yusufzai.

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Abdul Hossain Hossainzada, a Shiite community leader in western Kabul, told The Associated Press that the bomber apparently targeted the course, which was preparing students for university entrance exams. For two days we had no water and no food.

It also showed how militants are still able to stage large-scale attacks, even in the heart of Kabul, and underscored the struggles of the Afghan forces to provide security and stability on their own.

There has been no claim of responsibility but the Taliban denied carrying it out.

During the fighting, the Taliban destroyed the main telecommunication tower, just outside of Ghazni, and torched the television and radio station in the city. "Reliable information indicates that the Ghazni Public Hospital is overwhelmed by a continuous influx of injured government forces, Taliban fighters and civilians".

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