Some 11 Taliban suicide bombers attacked government buildings in eastern Afghanistan today, sparking running gun battles that killed at least 20 people and wounded three US troops, officials said. US and Afghan troops freed 20 hostages taken by the insurgents.
The assault began this morning when several suicide bombers attacked the governor's compound in Khost, a city on the border with Pakistan that houses a major American base.
Then a team of six suicide bombers tried to attack the nearby police headquarters, but were rebuffed by security forces and entered the neighboring municipality building. Three bombers detonated their explosives, the Interior Ministry said, while other militants took city employees hostage. Khost residents hid from booming explosions and running street clashes that lasted until late afternoon. A Taliban spokesman claimed that 30 suicide bombers had attacked.