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Taliban attacks presidential palace in Kabul

June 25, 2013, 11:20 UTC+3

According to some reports, during the battle were killed five Taliban and two Afghan soldiers

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CAIRO, June 25. /ITAR-TASS /. Afghan security forces along with U.S. special forces have repelled a massive attack by the Taliban in the heart of Kabul in the morning. The militants, which included suicide bombers, attacked the presidential palace, the defense ministry building and the hotel Ariana, which houses the CIA office. After an hour and a half of battle all the attackers, according to city police chief Gen. Ayub Salangi, were destroyed.

Responsibility for the attack has taken the Taliban movement , as its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has informed the world community.

According to some reports, during the battle were killed five Taliban and two Afghan soldiers. The number of victims and injured could possibly increase significantly, since, according to witnesses, the cross-fire in the palace came through a group of children on their way to school.

At the presidential palace during the battle were journalists, including foreign ones, which were expected to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and possibly located in Kabul U.S. State Department spokesman James Dobbins.

On the eve the envoy met with the head of state, and then stated that the future of the Afghan settlement, in general, and of the Doha negotiations, in particular, from now on depends only on the Taliban. These negotiations were expected to start last week, but the Afghan president rejected the visit of the delegation to Doha where he established the High Council for Peace after the Taliban decorated its new office in the Qatari capital with flags and coats of arms with the words "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." Although these heraldic symbols have been later removed from the building at the request of the Americans and the Qatari government, Kabul was in no hurry to consent to participate in the negotiations.

In order to unlock the unbegun political process after a trip to Doha in the Afghan capital has arrived  U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dobbins.

It is not known yet whether Karzai and Dobbins will come to journalists in such a tough morning.

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