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Taliban faceoff with Afghan forces in attack at international compound in Kabul

GRAPHIC WARNING: This post contains graphic images which some viewers may find disturbing.

Ahmad Jamshid / AP

Afghan police take cover during a gun battle following a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 24, 2013. A suicide bomber struck in the heart of the Afghan capital on Friday, sending a plume of smoke billowing over Kabul and setting up a gun battle in the second major attack in the city in little over a week, police said.

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Children run away after an explosion in Kabul on May 24, 2013. Several large explosions rocked a busy area in the center of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday.

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

A wounded Afghan policeman is being carried away from the site of an explosion in Kabul on May 24, 2013.

Taliban militants launched a large-scale attack involving the United Nations in the center of the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday, sparking a five-hour battle with security forces.

A plume of smoke hung over Kabul after the attack was launched, with the sound of .50 caliber heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and sniper fire clearly audible throughout the city center as night fell.

An Afghan police officer was killed and 10 other people were wounded during the attack, which began at 4 p.m. (1130 GMT) with a suicide car bomb outside a compound used by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Afghan police said.

While the IOM is not part of the United Nations, it is affiliated with it in Afghanistan.

The attack came eight days after six American soldiers and civilians and nine Afghans were killed in a suicide car bombing in Kabul.

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Massoud Hossaini / AFP - Getty Images

A Norwegian Special Force officer (center) follows an Afghanistan MOI Special Force member to the site of a clash between Afghanistan security forces and Taliban fighters in Kabul on May 24, 2013.

Massoud Hossaini / AFP - Getty Images

Afghan policemen take position at the site of a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Kabul on May 24, 2013.

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

A wounded Afghan policeman is carried away from the site of an explosion in Kabul on May 24, 2013.

Omar Sobhani / Reuters

Men carry a wounded Afghan policeman away from the site of an explosion in Kabul on May 24, 2013.

Anja Niedringhaus / AP

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