Attacks on Afghan government buildings kill 20

KABUL (AP) - The Taliban are claiming responsibility for a coordinated attack in the capital of Afghanistan that claimed 20 lives.

Gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the Justice Ministry and another government building in Kabul.

Officials say eight attackers also died in the assaults, including an attacker outside a third government building.

A Defense Ministry spokesman says all eight attackers had suicide vests, but only three assailants detonated them.

The attacks underscore the reach of the Taliban beyond their strongholds in the south and east.

A spokesman for the Taliban said the attacks were in response to the alleged mistreatment of Taliban prisoners in Afghan government jails.

The attacks come ahead of a planned visit by President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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