Gun Battle Erupts Near Afghan Prez Palace

Explosionw rock ministries, luxury hotel in central Kabul
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 18, 2010 2:16 AM CST
Updated Jan 18, 2010 5:28 AM CST
Smoke rise over Kabul todayafter explosions rocked the capital as Afghan troops fought with Taliban militants.   (AP Photo/Robert Reid)
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(Newser) – A gun battle has erupted near Afghanistan's presidential palace between national security forces and the Taliban shortly after explosions rocked the central Kabul neighborhood. A huge plume of smoke was rising from the area near the Afghanistan Central Bank, government ministries and a luxury hotel popular with westerners, reports the Washington Post. At least one bomb exploded near a gate of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's compound, according to local TV reports.

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