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However, a U.S. government watchdog agency recently reported that it saw few signs that this strategy was working, while acknowledging that the Afghan security forces are getting better training.

The attack began as 10 militants, traveling in armored vehicles, gathered outside the interior ministry in Kabul, according to The Associated Press.

Afghan security forces patrol, after recapturing control of the city from Taliban militants, in Farah.

Islamic State has claimed many attacks in Kabul but Afghan security officials doubt the claims and say numerous attacks are much more likely to be the work of the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban which has proven expertise in mounting urban attacks.

The attack started at around 12.15pm Kabul time when an explosion occurred close to the entrance gate of the ministry.

"We ran to escape to the other side of the road", said Safi.

Three attackers, wearing military uniforms, detonated explosives while the others were shot by government troops, officials said. The facility that was attacked on Wednesday opened past year, partly replacing the old ministry in the center of Kabul.

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The US military did not directly comment on Sunday's operation, but said US forces operate in the region daily. Chinese officials have accused Washington of viewing their country in suspicious, "Cold War" terms.

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Gen. John Nicholson, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon from his Kabul office, said USA forces "believe it was a Taliban-Haqqani attack, but we're still developing that information". This led to a skirmish, and one of the attackers used an explosive vest in the attack. ISIS is an alternative acronym for IS. Their relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan forces have faced since the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. He said another three people were wounded in the battle Wednesday.

Wednesday's attack came hours after Taliban suicide bombers stormed a police station in Logar province south of Kabul, where three officers were killed.

Mohammad Salim Roodi says the attack took place in Girishk district when the police tried to stop a suspicious vehicle outside the governor's compound.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, says seven attackers were killed in Wednesday's shootout and that cleanup operations are underway. The attackers did not manage to enter the main compound.

Police also said they had found a auto stuffed with explosives and guns at Kabul's worldwide airport near the interior ministry on Wednesday.

It is estimated that about 15 million people - half the population - are living in areas that are either controlled by the Taliban or where the Taliban are openly present and regularly mount attacks.