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19 killed in Afghan suicide attack

Nineteen people have been killed in Afghanistan after a team of suicide bombers targeted a provincial governor's compound, police have confirmed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Charikar, the capital of Parwan, some 30 miles north of Kabul.

Police said the assault began with a car bomb outside the front gate. The blast blew open a hole in the wall, allowing five insurgents wearing suicide vests and carrying automatic weapons to rush into the compound.

Officers killed three of the attackers as they approached the governor's house.

The assault appeared to target a meeting of local security officials that was taking place.

General Abdul Jalil Rahimi, of the Afghan National Police, said he was at the meeting with Parwan governor Abdul Basir Salangi and several Nato officers.

"Two of the bombers were able to get into the building of the governor's house," Gen Rahimi said.

Fourteen of the dead were civilian Afghan government employees and five were policemen, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

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