KABUL, Afghanistan — Suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gate of a government compound in eastern Afghanistan before dawn Friday, opening the way for armed insurgents to storm the facility and touching off an hours-long gunbattle that left 10 people dead, officials said.
The 17 militants attacked the compound in Nuristan province’s Kamdesh district around 3 a.m., said provincial Governor Tamim Nuristani. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it matched the pattern of Taliban assaults that typically target Afghan government installations or the US-led international military coalition.
The remote district along the Pakistani border was the site of one of the deadliest attacks on American forces in the Afghan war. In October 2009, insurgents stormed the base with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. When the fighting was over, about 150 insurgents were dead but so were eight Americans and three Afghan soldiers.
The US later withdrew from Nuristan province, saying that it was not strategically important to have soldiers stationed there and that it could be covered with troops based in nearby provinces. Friday’s attack came as a spike in violence in recent weeks has raised concern about the readiness of Afghan forces to take over responsibility for their own security.