SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Bomb blasts followed by an eight hour-long battle in the west of the Afghan capital have left at least three Kabul traffic police and five Taliban attackers dead.
Fearing night guards and traffic operators were trapped inside, the Afghan National Security Forces worked cautiously on Monday to contain Taliban fighters in the four-storey building housing the Kabul traffic police headquarters.
"Two of the bombers were shot dead at the entrance," Mohammad Zahir, of the Kabul police, said.
A witness described the initial explosion, a car bomb at the front gate of the building, as "very very big -- it was massive". That initial blast was followed by subsequent explosions and gunfire that carried on several hours.
Local media reported the attackers were believed to be hiding under a staircase in the four-storey building.
The fighting left four traffic police and eight nearby civilians wounded.
Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said at least two of the rooms in the traffic police compound were on fire.
Sediq Sediqqi, ministry of interior spokesman, speaking to Al Jazeera from Kabul, said the Taliban had been contained and that police were "going floor-by-floor" to insure no other attackers remained.
Sediqqi cited "slight" wounds among police forces, as a sign that the Afghan National Police are "stronger; we can really contain their damage and give them a quicker response", he said.
A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, ISAF, said: "Afghan security forces are doing a great job pressuring the insurgents. ISAF will continue to train, advise, assist the ANSF ... [The] Taliban are losing this fight, are growing weaker. Many are leaving the fight because they do not want to fight their Afghan brothers."
Though NATO would not disclose its role in the operation, an eyewitness speaking to Al Jazeera, reported seeing NATO forces "firing a rocket" at the attack site in Kabul's Deh Mazang area.
The Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attack, told Al Jazeera their target was the border police offices next door to the traffic police compound.
Our correspondent said the initial attack occurred just before dawn, "a time when the streets of Kabul and the building itself would be quite empty," which would be an advantage if the group intended to use the traffic police compound as a staging site for another attack on the border police.
Monday's blasts were the second co-ordinated attack in the Afghan capital in five days. Last Wednesday, the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan spy agency, was targeted in an attack that left two security guards and five attackers dead.