Afghan Officials Say Attack on Ministry Was Repelled

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The attack on the new building of the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan, on the airport road in Kabul, ended after nearly two hours when 10 attackers were killed by government forces, a spokesman for the ministry confirmed.

Two other suicide bombers then clashed with the security forces, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, Shapoor Ahmadzai said.

Meanwhile, the USA military announced Wednesday that an artillery strike killed more than 50 senior Taliban commanders in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.

"It was 5 in the morning when the Taliban exploded a auto bomb near the First District Police Headquarters and three suicide attackers entered the building", Mr. Ahmadzai said.

On Wednesday, Task Force Southwest announced U.S. Forces-Afghanistan conducted a series of strikes on the Taliban over a 10-day period that resulted in the deaths of more than 70 senior Taliban leaders.

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At least four Taliban insurgents were also killed and another militant was wounded during the operation, the provincial government said.

But Nicholson, who has sought to drive the Taliban to the negotiating table by bringing to bear increased USA military pressure, maintained that violence and progress can coexist.

Later Wednesday, the American commander of USA and coalition forces in Afghanistan cast doubt the attack was the work of IS, saying instead there are indications the Taliban-allied Haqqani network was behind it.

"Violence and progress can coexist, and that's what we're seeing", he said.

On May 24, they were spotted in a known Taliban command center in Musa Qala.

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In a statement Wednesday, the United States command in Afghanistan said the strikes against those behind a recent attack in the Helmand provincial capital of Farah resulted in "more than 50 casualties".

Last week, a US government watchdog group said the administration's revamped strategy has made little progress against the Taliban insurgency, leaving the country a "dangerous and volatile" place almost 17 years after the USA invaded. He asserted there are "many points of intersection" between Taliban and Afghan proposals for pursuing peace.

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe said on Twitter that the nearby coalition base was locked down for about an hour after the attack.

The U.S. has about 15,000 support troops in Afghanistan, mostly providing various forms of military assistance.

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