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Taliban in gun battle after Kabul bomb attack

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The blast sent up a huge pall of smoke
Afghan security forces are battling Taliban gunmen who launched an attack on a government building in the capital, Kabul.Insurgents detonated a car bomb outside the building, killing one person and injuring more than 90 including dozens of children, officials said.Several gunmen then stormed the building and opened fire on security forces outside. The Taliban said it had targeted a facility of the defence ministry.The attack comes two days after a US special envoy began a seventh round of talks with the militant group in Qatar, aiming to bring an end to the 18-year war.
Monday's blast in the morning rush hour sent a huge plume of smoke over the Puli Mahmood Khan district. Witnesses said special forces had cordoned off the area and sporadic gunfire and explosions could be heard. Helicopter gunships were flying overhead.
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Two militants inside the building had been killed but others were still returning fire, police said.
Children on their way to school were caught by the blast
Although one person was confirmed killed in the blast, officials warned that the death toll could rise. The education ministry said about 50 children on their way to school were among the wounded.Zaher Usman, an employee at the nearby culture ministry, said "the world turned upside down" when the car bomb exploded."When I opened my eyes, the office was filled with smoke and dust and everything was broken - my colleagues were screaming," he told AFP news agency.In May, the Taliban attacked the Kabul office of a US aid group, killing at least five people and wounding 24.
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