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Kabul Attacks: William Hague Condemns Taliban Assault On Diplomatic Targets In Afghanistan

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William Hague has condemned Taliban attacks on diplomatic targets in Afghanistan's capital city Kabul including the British embassy.

After multiple assaults were launched on Western embassies and at parliament, the Foreign Secretary confirmed that all British diplomatic staff are "safe" and that there has been limited damage to British properties.

Heavy explosions, rockets and gunfire rattled the diplomatic area of the capital as suicide bombers and militants wielding heavy weapons performed simultaneous attacks in the city and and at least three eastern provinces.

PICTURES: Scroll down for images of the Kabul attacks

Reports suggest that two British properties were attacked. Reuters news agency reported that attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade that landed in front of a British diplomatic residence and that two rockets hit a British Embassy guard tower.

The Associated Press said militants staked out positions in a tall building were firing rockets in various directions, including towards the British Embassy.


Members of the Afghan National Army scramble after the explosions

A Taliban spokesman said the attacks were a message to Afghan and foreign forces, warning the insurgents remain strong and resilient.

One police officer and 17 militants died in the attacks. The Ministry of Interior reported that 17 police and 14 civilians were wounded during the violence in Kabul, Paktia, Nangarhar and Logar provinces.

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Mr Hague also paid tribute to the Afghan security forces - who are now in full control of the city - for their response to the attacks.

Mr Hague said: "I strongly condemn today's coordinated attacks against the Afghan parliament, a hotel, an ISAF camp and diplomatic premises in Kabul and other Afghan provinces.

"The British Embassy was one of the diplomatic premises that was targeted.

"I am pleased to report that every member of Embassy staff is safe and that there has been limited damage to Embassy premises. I would also like to praise the staff in the British Embassy, who dealt with this dangerous situation extremely professionally.

BLOG: Martin Middlebrook writes from the Afghan capital.

"The Afghan National Security Forces responded to the attacks bravely, promptly and effectively, once again illustrating the significant progress that has been made in ensuring that Afghans can look after their own security.

"Britain stands with the government and people of Afghanistan as they work to build a peaceful future."


A car reportedly carrying suicide bombers was destroyed before it reached the airport in Jalalabad

The attacks may prompt fears that the Taliban will intensify its campaign in the run-up to the planned withdrawal of British troops by the end of 2014.

A massive effort is under way to ensure Afghan soldiers and police officers are not overwhelmed by the insurgency ahead of the coalition forces' withdrawal.

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