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Picking up pieces after 18 hour Taliban assault ends in Kabul

Johannes Eisele / AFP - Getty Images

Afghan policemen are mirrored in glass from a broken window as they stand guard outside the building where Taliban fighters launched an attack in Kabul on April 16.

Ahmad Jamshid / AP

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday that a coordinated Taliban attack showed a "failure" by Afghan intelligence and especially by NATO, as heavy street fighting between insurgents and security forces came to an end after 18 hours.

Battles that broke out at midday on Sunday gripped the city's central districts through the night, with large explosions and gunfire lighting up alleys and streets.

Though the death toll was relatively low considering the scale of the assault, it highlighted the ability of militants to strike high-profile targets in the heart of the city even after more than 10 years of war.

--Reuters

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A string of brazen attacks in Afghanistan left 36 insurgents, eight policemen and three civilians dead. NBC's Sohel Uddin reports.

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