Taliban insurgents with assault rifles and suicide vests stormed two government buildings and killed at least 19 people Wednesday, Afghan officials said, in one of the most audacious attacks on the capital by the Islamist group since its 2001 ouster.

A suicide bomber ignited a car bomb Monday outside India's embassy in Afghanistan, killing 41 and injuring 139. The casualties included an Indian defense attache, a diplomat as well as two embassy guards and six Afghan police officers.

Afghan and NATO forces, backed by helicopter gunships, moved into villages outside Kandahar on Wednesday, killing at least 36 suspected Taliban fighters as part of an assault on insurgents holed up in the valley in southern Afghanistan.

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