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Kabul: Afghan security forces suppressed a suicide attack on a guest house near the Spanish embassy in Kabul, killing three Taliban fighters after hours of intermittent gunfire and explosions that lasted into the early hours of Saturday.

A Spanish security officer was killed in the attack, in a heavily protected part of Kabul close to several embassies and government buildings, while five Afghan police were killed or wounded, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said.

In addition, one Spanish citizen and nine Afghan civilians were wounded and another 47 Afghans and foreigners were rescued from nearby buildings where they were trapped as security forces sealed off the area around the guest house.

The latest in a series of attacks on foreign targets in Kabul began at about 6pm (1330 GMT) on Friday when a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near the guest house, allowing three gunmen to take up positions and open fire on security forces.

“The operation took time because we wanted to rescue the people trapped in surrounding buildings and we had to move cautiously and in a proper tactical manner," Rahimi told Reuters.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, just days after President Ashraf Ghani returned from a regional peace conference in Pakistan, where he sought support to revive peace talks that stalled this year.

It followed a separate Taliban attack on the airport complex in the southern city of Kandahar, in which at least 50 civilians and security forces personnel were killed. Reuters

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