Militants attack government building in Kabul, killing at least 29

/ CBS/AP

A suicide bomber and extremists armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked a government building in the Afghan capital in an eight-hour-long siege that left 29 people dead and more than 20 wounded, authorities said. It ended when the three gunmen were killed.

The toll could rise as police continue to search the smoldering building, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

The attack began when the suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car in front of the multi-story building that houses a public welfare department in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul, Danish said. Minutes later, three gunmen entered the building and rampaged through the office complex hunting for victims. Some employees managed to barricade themselves inside offices while police quickly evacuated 357 people, officials said.

Witnesses reported hearing at least five explosions as police and gunmen traded fire. One officer died and three were wounded.

Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an explosion and attack by gunmen, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. Rahmat Gul / AP

Police cordoned of the area as they tried to secure the building, but Danish said the operation was painstakingly slow as officers moved carefully from room to room and floor to floor.

Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said authorities received at least one telephone call from inside the building, but frightened employees were unable to provide any details. No one claimed responsibility, but both the Taliban and the local Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliate have carried out brazen daytime attacks in the capital.

The building is in area that includes several apartment buildings as well Afghanistan's department for public works. A witness said ambulances raced to the scene during a lull in the shooting, Reuters news agency reports.

The attack came four days after U.S. President Trump announced the withdrawal of half of the 14,000 American troops and just hours after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in Kabul to discuss a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year war. Qureshi, who then continued his trip to Iran, condemned the attack.

An Afghan policeman keeps watch at a back of truck at the site of an attack in Kabul
An Afghan police officer at the scene of the attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec. 24, 2018. Omar Sobhani / REUTERS

Pakistan helped orchestrate last week's peace talks in the United Arab Emirates, where representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Pakistan and the U.S. met with the Taliban.

Taliban insurgents control nearly half of Afghanistan and are more powerful than at any time since a 2001 U.S.-led invasion. They carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting security forces and government officials.

The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in 2014, but American and allied troops remain, conducting strikes on the Islamic State group and the Taliban and working to train and build the Afghan military.

First published on December 24, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Afghanistan An Afghan policeman keeps watch at a back of truck at the site of an attack in Kabul

Militants attack government building in Kabul, killing at least 29

A suicide bomber and extremists attacked a government building in an eight-hour-long siege

updated 10M ago

North Korea ordered to pay $500 million in U.S. student's death

Warmbier was a college student who visited North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor

1H ago

GoFundMe refunds $400K to donors in alleged scam

GoFundMe says it has refunded more than $400,000 back to donors taken in by the story of a New Jersey couple and a homeless veteran

1H ago

Cruise ship rescues fishermen who were stranded for weeks

The sailors were saved Friday evening between Grand Cayman and Jamaica

1H ago

Mnuchin call to "Plunge Protection Team" summons ghost of '08

Treasury Secretary's move to scramble members of an obscure White House group is making some stock analysts nervous

1H ago

The lawsuits that could bankrupt the opioid industry

The attorney behind a multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement in 1998 has turned his attention to the opioid epidemic. And he wants drug companies to pay

Dec 17

Cleaning up the plastic in the ocean

Discarded plastic is piling up around the world and pooling in the ocean. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on the problem's deadly consequences for wildlife and what can be done to stop it

Dec 16

Tesla CEO Elon Musk: The "60 Minutes" interview

Musk opens up to Lesley Stahl about Twitter, pot, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Model 3 and Tesla

Dec 9

Study examines effects of screen time on kids

"60 Minutes" goes inside a landmark government study of young minds to see if phones, tablets and other screens are impacting adolescent brain development

Dec 10

Ryan Speedo Green: From juvenile delinquency to opera stardom

After a childhood of anger and violence, the 32-year-old now commands the stage around the world

Dec 9

Remembering President George H.W. Bush

Former presidents and others look back on the life of President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday

Dec 2

Paradise Lost: Inside California's Camp Fire

"60 Minutes" reveals what firefighters saw as the deadliest wildfire in California history destroyed the town of Paradise

Dec 2

The chaos behind family separation at the border

A "60 Minutes" investigation has found the separations that dominated headlines this summer began earlier and were greater in number than the Trump administration admits

Nov 26

Right Rail – Video Promo – Listing

Search for survivors in Indonesia tsunami

Rescue workers in Indonesia expect they will find more victims of a deadly weekend tsunami. Crews are frantically searching the western coast of the island of Java. More than 280 people are known to be dead and many more are missing. Barry Petersen reports.

9H ago 03:05

Gov't shutdown not expected to end in 2018

The partial government shutdown is now three days old, and Congress is not expected to end it in 2018. That means many facilities at national parks are closed to tourists during the holiday week. More than 800,000 federal workers soon will not be paid. Chip Reid reports.

9H ago 02:21

Mattis reportedly signs Syria withdrawal order

Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis has reportedly signed an order to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria. President Trump ordered Mattis to leave the Pentagon by New Year's Day, turning down the retired Marine general's offer to stay through February after he resigned over the Syrian withdrawal and other issues. Errol Barnett reports.

10H ago 01:59

Missing Colo. mom's fiancé charged with murder

Idaho investigators say they recovered evidence in the case of a missing Colorado mom who police say was murdered by her fiancé. Detectives executed search warrants in Twin Falls after being contacted by the FBI. Police charged Patrick Frazee with murder last Friday. Jim Axelrod reports.

9H ago 02:34

Jennie-O turkey products recalled again

A deadly salmonella outbreak linked to turkey in the U.S. is spreading. The Jennie-O recalled more than 164,000 additional pounds of raw ground turkey last Friday. Anna Werner reports.

9H ago 01:54

Singer who lost wife, bandmates in tsunami posts tearful message

Riefian Fajarsyah is apparently the only surviving member of the group, which commands a large fan base in their native country

3H ago

Cruise ship rescues fishermen who were stranded for weeks

The sailors were saved Friday evening between Grand Cayman and Jamaica

1H ago

Indonesia tsunami: Death toll nears 400

More than 1,000 hurt, dozens missing after tsunami that followed eruption of infamous Anak Krakatau volcano

7H ago

Trump says border wall will be built with "shutdown money"

Lawmakers say they still don't have a deal to reopen the government

3H ago

Car crashes into crowded Ohio church, injuring 6

Firefighters said the six injured at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Columbus were treated for cuts and other injuries

19H ago

Notable deaths in 2018

A look back at the esteemed personalities who've left us this year, who touched us with their innovation, creativity and humanity

Dec 21 139 photos

Biggest stories of 2018, ranked

This year was a doozy. These were the top stories on CBSNews.com

Dec 6 55 photos

Yemen's humanitarian crisis

The nation's civil war has claimed at least 10,000 lives, and generated the world's worst humanitarian crisis

Dec 17 24 photos

The timeless photojournalism of Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

"War and Peace in Liberia" is a new exhibition in New York City celebrating the work of two acclaimed war photographers, who were both killed in conflict zones

Dec 9 15 photos

2018 additions to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry

"The Shining," "Jurassic Park," "My Fair Lady" and "Brokeback Mountain" are among the classic films to be preserved for future generations by the Library of Congress

Dec 12 27 photos

Militants attack government building in Kabul, killing at least 29

A suicide bomber and extremists attacked a government building in an eight-hour-long siege

updated 10M ago

North Korea ordered to pay $500 million in U.S. student's death

Warmbier was a college student who visited North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor

1H ago

GoFundMe refunds $400K to donors in alleged scam

GoFundMe says it has refunded more than $400,000 back to donors taken in by the story of a New Jersey couple and a homeless veteran

1H ago

Cruise ship rescues fishermen who were stranded for weeks

The sailors were saved Friday evening between Grand Cayman and Jamaica

1H ago

Mnuchin call to "Plunge Protection Team" summons ghost of '08

Treasury Secretary's move to scramble members of an obscure White House group is making some stock analysts nervous

1H ago

Kevin Spacey charged with sexual assault

The charge comes more than a year after a former Boston news anchor came forward with allegations that the disgraced actor sexually assaulted her teenage son at a bar in 2016

1H ago