KABUL - Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on a UN compound in the center of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday setting off explosions and battling the security forces.

A plume of smoke hung over the city center after the attack was launched, eight days after six Americans, soldiers and civilians, and nine Afghans were killed in a suicide car bombing in Kabul.

The Taliban, fighting to expel Western forces and establish Islamist rule, claimed responsibility, saying a compound used by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), had been attacked.

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