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54 killed in attack on Afghan compound in a bid to free Taliban prisoners

Hoshang Hashimi / AP

An injured Afghan man is evacuated to an Afghan Army helicopter in Farah, western Afghanistan, Thursday, April 4. Suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said.

Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

Wounded Afghan children receive treatment at a local hospital after Taliban attack in Farah province on April 4.

Hoshang Hashimi / AP

An Afghan army soldier stands guard in the destroyed courthouse in Farah, western Afghanistan, Thursday, April 4. Suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said. Tens of people, including the nine attackers were reported killed in the fighting. The assault in Farah province was the latest example of the Taliban's ability to strike official institutions despite tight security measures.

Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand in the remains of windows at a court house after Taliban suicide attack in Farah province on April 4. Taliban gunmen who killed 46 people at an Afghan court complex in a bid to free insurgents standing trial moved ruthlessly from room to room, shooting everyone they found, officials recounted on April 3. Defenseless civilians, judges, lawyers and court staff were left dead after nine militants disguised as Afghan soldiers launched an eight-hour assault which only ended after security forces finally killed the last surviving gunman.

Aref Karimi / AFP - Getty Images

Afghan National Army (ANA )soldiers walk at the site of a suicide attack in Farah province on April 4, 2013. Taliban gunmen who killed 46 people at an Afghan court complex in a bid to free insurgents standing trial moved ruthlessly from room to room, shooting everyone they found.

Rahmat Gul / AP

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

By John Newland, Staff Writer, NBC News

At least 54 people were killed and 90 others wounded Wednesday in an insurgent attack on a government compound in western Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters were facing trial, local officials said.

Nine insurgents with explosives strapped to their bodies stormed the compound in Farah province, bordering Iran, Reuters reported. Explosions were followed by protracted gun battles. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Continue reading.