In Afghanistan, at least nine people were killed and 36 others wounded as militants detonated bombs and stormed a government building in the eastern city of Jalalabad today.
Local officials said after a car bomb was detonated at the entrance to the state accounts office, a group of about four gunmen, armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, rushed the building.
There were multiple blasts as they fought off security forces in a gunbattle that lasted much of the day. A spokesman for the provincial governor, Attahullah Khogyani, said after several hours of fighting which sent plumes of smoke rising into the sky above the accounts office, the clash had ended with all the gunmen killed.
The attack took place in a busy area of the city with many other official buildings nearby, including a school in which around 1,000 girls were trapped as the fighting raged.
Public health officials said at least nine people, including a child, had been killed and 36 others wounded.
Witnesses said the explosions had caused carnage among passers-by. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.