WASHINGTON, May 13, 2009 – Afghan and U.S. forces killed eight insurgents
and repelled a complex suicide attack May 11 by multiple groups on
government buildings in Khost, the capital of the eastern Afghanistan
province of the same name.
During the engagement, the forces foiled an attempt on the provincial
governor's life.

Shortly before noon, a suicide bomber dressed as an Afghan security forces
member attacked the governor's compound, while two others wearing suicide
vests were killed by Afghan and U.S. forces. An additional suicide vest was
found at the scene.

Moments later, a group of suicide bombers stormed the Khost municipal
building and took several civilian hostages. One militant was killed before
entering the building. Two explosions heard inside the building during the
siege were later determined to be from a pair of suicide bombers who
detonated themselves.

Afghan and U.S. forces entered the municipal building and immediately began
taking fire. They returned fire, killingtwo insurgents. Four hostages were
freed after the combined force cleared the building and eliminated the
threat.

The combined forces overcame and disabled the attackers in less than five
hours. U.S. military leaders and analysts said they believe the attacks were
conducted for propaganda effects.

"The actions of the Afghan national security forces should be commended,"
Army Col. Greg Julian, a U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said. "Their
responsiveness and courage limited the extent of the civilian casualties.
Their response made this terrorist attack militarily insignificant. The
terrorists achieved nothing against the government of Afghanistan, and only
further demonstrated their disregard for innocent civilians."

Six Afghan security forces members and three U.S. servicemembers were
injured during the engagement. Seven civilians were killed, and at least 20
others were wounded in the attacks.

Afghan and U.S. security forces continue to search for any other possible
insurgents and threats, officials said, and are helping the local government
with medical care for the injured.

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