TODAY

TODAY   |  June 25, 2013

Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace

Using fake badges to get into the presidential compound in Afghanistan, a heavily fortified area that includes the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters, the Taliban has launched a surprise attack. NBC’s Duncan Golestani reports.

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>>> meantime, breaking news in afghanistan. an attack on one of kabul 's most secure areas. natalie has details on that.

>>> good morning everyone. there was an attack on the heart of the afghan government , the presidential palace . duncan was there in kabul when the attack happened. good morning.

>> good morning natalie . this was a daring taliban attack using fake i.d.s to get into what should be one of the safest areas in afghanistan.

>> reporter: outside the presidential palace journalists take cover as gunfire and explosions shake kabul 's diplomatic zone. an area that includes the u.s. embassy and nato headquaters. among those trying to keep away from the gunfire, a boy on his way to school.

>> the flames are in front of us, mate.

>> we managed to get across to a car. a local journalist grateful to get out of the open.

>> there's a number of explosion as head of us. gunfire is coming from all around. you might be able to hear it. we're just outside the presidential palace . there's road blocks. we can't move. we're trying to keep cover here with our friend here who just jumped in as well.

>> reporter: all we could do is watch and wait as palace guards fired down from checkpoint.

>> the gunfire is still going on.

>> reporter: the fire fight went on for 40 minutes until all the attackers were killed. finally everyone was able to move to safety. the taliban say they were also targeting a cia building. all of this as u.s. representatives try to begin peace talks. natalie .