Long Gunbattle Proving Kabul Security Still Tenuous

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Terrorists with al Qaeda connections launched simultaneous attacks around Afghanistan over the weekend, including a deadly 18-hour gunbattle in Kabul.

Dozens of suicide attackers and gunmen struck the Afghan capital and three other cities. Officials say 36 insurgents were killed in the battles that followed.

Eight members of the Afghan police, army, and intelligence service were killed and 40 others were wounded in the attacks. Three civilians were killed and 25 others were wounded.

In Kabul, insurgents took over a building that was under construction, overlooking the Afghan presidential palace and Western embassies.

The U.S., German, and British embassies and some coalition and Afghan government buildings took direct and indirect fire, according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition.

A captured suspect said the Haqqani network is responsible for the attacks. The Haqqani  group consists of about 10,000 fighters and has close ties to al Qaeda. 

Apart from Kabul, the eastern capitals of Paktia, Logar and Nangarhar provinces also came under attack Sunday as suicide bombers tried to storm a NATO base, an airport, and police installations.

Afghanistan's interior minister said the attacks prove insurgents are still penetrating Afghan security after 10 years of war. 

Meanwhile, Afghan and U.S. officials are still trying to work with the Taliban to negotiate a political resolution to the war. The majority of international combat troops are scheduled to leave the country by the end of 2014.

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