Heavy firing erupts in southeastern Afghan city

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The Independent Online

Residents of the southeastern Afghan city of Khost are reporting heavy gunfire and explosions near the main police station and other government buildings.

The firing erupted today, and residents were unable to move about safely.

Provincial council member Tajaly Khan Saber told The Associated Press that it was not possible to determine the number of casualties.

An Afghan official says the main targets appear to be the police headquarters, attorney general's office, courts and a local bank branch.

Last May, 11 Taliban suicide bombers struck government buildings in Khost, killing 20 people and wounding three Americans. It's not clear if US troops are involved in the current fighting.

On Tuesday, suspected Taliban militants armed with bombs, rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launched near-simultaneous assaults in Gardez, about 50 miles northwest of Khost, and in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Six Afghan police and intelligence officers and eight militants died in the two attacks.

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