The Afghan capital on Tuesday echoed for hours to the sound of gunfire and explosions as Taliban militants infiltrated Kabul and attacked in several places.
Targets included the airport, government buildings, and the embassy district, in particular the US embassy. At least nine people were killed, and 23 wounded.
Armed with explosive vests, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades some took over a half-finished high-rise building to use as a stronghold.
One police officer died stopping a suicide bomber entering a school, and eight hours after the assault began gunfire could still be heard, in Kabul’s second major Taliban attack in a month.
ISAF forces had to deploy in support of the Afghan army and police, and helicopters flew overhead.
Children were trapped in schools as the fighting raged around them, and terrified parents rushed to get them only to be turned back by security forces.
This year has been the deadliest for soliders and civilans alike since international forces entered Afghanistan to oust the Taliban in 2001.