Seven people - an Afghan police officer, two civilians and four insurgents - were killed during an hours-long Taliban attack on a building of a U.N.-affiliated organization in this capital, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

Friday's attack on the International Organization for Migration residential compound lasted seven hours and also left 10 civilians - including an Italian woman who works at the IOM - and six Nepalese Gurkha guards wounded, Sediq Seddiqi said.

Kabul police chief Gen. Ayub Salangi had told Efe earlier that eight people died in the attack, including five Taliban fighters.

The incident began at 4:15 p.m. Friday, when four Taliban insurgents wearing suicide vests and armed with AK-47 assault rifles and grenade launchers attacked the IOM compound in the heart of Kabul.

One of the insurgents rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the compound, paving the way for the other three Taliban fighters to penetrate the building, Seddiqi said at a press conference.

The attackers entrenched themselves in an adjacent building and resisted Afghan security forces until 11:00 p.m, when the last of the insurgents was killed.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed to Efe that fighters with his group were behind the assault on the compound.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced the attack and sent his condolences to the victims.

Coordinated, Fedayeen-type attacks by groups of Taliban fighters are relatively frequent in Afghanistan.

Last week, a car-bomb blast in Kabul killed two soldiers, four U.S. contractors and six other civilians - including two children - and wounded 30 others.

This uptick in deadly violence comes nearly 12 years after the U.S. invasion that toppled the Taliban fundamentalist Muslim regime and as foreign troops are steadily withdrawing from the Central Asian country. EFE