The Taliban claimed responsibility on Tuesday for an early morning attack on the presidential palace and nearby government and other buildings as fighting raged in the area.
"Today at 6:30 am a number of martyrs attacked the presidential palace, Defense Ministry and the Ariana Hotel," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a text message.
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Gunmen attacked the Afghan presidential palace early on Tuesday, with explosions and gunfire shaking the city center.
A Reuters reporter at the palace said the attack began soon after 6:30 am (02:00 GMT) on the building's east gate. Reporters were gathering for a press event with President Hamid Karzai.
It was not immedately clear whether Karzai was inside the building at the time of the assault.
The Ariana Hotel is known to house the headquarters of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan.
Last month, the Taliban and the US announced that they would hold talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan as the Islamic militant movement opened an office in Qatar.
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