Taliban gunmen have killed at least nine people as they stormed the British Council charity in Kabul and held off the security forces for eight hours.
They said it was a lesson for the British on the anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from the UK.
But most of the victims were Afghan: the police say eight officers and one foreign soldier died, and 22 people were injured.
In London the Foreign Office said all Britons employed at the site were safe. Two had taken refuge in a reinforced bunker.
All the assailants were killed, said the British ambassador in Kabul. It is thought one young attacker fought a long lone battle before being blown up.
The assault began before dawn with a suicide bomber in a car in front of the gate of the British Council compound, and another car packed with explosives detonated moments later while four attackers, three of them men clad in the all-enveloping burqa cloak worn by Afghan women, stormed the compound, police said.
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron described it as a “cowardly attack”.
The British Council is a state-funded agency running mainly educational and cultural programmes.