6 Killed in Hours-Long Afghan Siege
Taliban gunmen storm government building
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2011 3:00 PM CDT
Afghan soldiers run to surround the police traffic department building, after it was attacked by insurgents, in Khost, eastern of Afghanistan on Sunday, May 22, 2011.   (Nishanuddin Khan)
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(Newser) – Taliban fighters wearing suicide bomb vests hidden under police uniforms attacked a government building in eastern Afghanistan today, triggering an hours-long gun battle and killing six people, officials said. Four men armed with assault rifles and wearing explosives drove shortly before dawn into a compound that houses the provincial traffic department on the edge of Khost city. Security forces stopped the men, who were wearing uniforms of the Afghan border police, only after becoming suspicious of the civilian station wagon they drove.

Guards opened fire on the attackers, but the men were able to occupy the upper floor of the building. The attackers shot at Afghan security forces from their vantage point as a fire raged through the structure. Two of the attackers detonated their bomb vests during the fighting, with one bomber killing two Afghan soldiers. Security forces shot and killed the other two attackers.Three police officers and a gardener working at the site were also killed. Five police officers, one soldier, and one civilian were wounded.