Charikar (Afghanistan): A team of six suicide bombers some wearing explosive vests stormed a provincial governor's compound in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 22 people in the latest high-profile attack to target prominent Afghan government officials, authorities said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the Parwan provincial capital of Charikar, some 50 kilometres north of Kabul.

The province is home to Bagram Air Field, a sprawling base for US and NATO troops.

The coordinated assault is the most recent in a string of spectacular Taliban attacks within an hour's drive of Kabul, a worrying sign of the insurgency's strength near the heart of the country and its determination to target Afghanistan's nascent leadership.

Early this month, the Taliban shot down a helicopter in a province on the western border of the capital, killing 38 American and Afghan troops.

In late June, gunmen killed at least 21 people in an attack on the Inter-Continental hotel in Kabul itself.

The violence is a sign of NATO's broader struggles in the east, where persistent insurgent attacks forced the alliance to pull forces back from outlying patrol bases and outposts.

The coalition, which plans to send 10,000 troops home by the end of the year, is considering whether to move forces from Taliban heartlands in the south to reinforce troops fighting insurgents in the east.

(Agencies)