Nine Taliban fighters dressed as Afghan Soldier stormed a government compound in the western part of the country, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 100 more.

Afghan police say two suicide attackers packed explosives into an army pickup truck and detonated it at the entrance gate of the provincial government compound in Farah.  The explosion ripped through the mayor’s office and neighboring buildings. 

The remaining Taliban fighters poured into the complex, taking hostages who were executed after the 7-hour seige.  All of the insurgents were killed, but so were 34 civilians.

President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that the “Terrorists should know that they must answer for this before the nation and that they will face the God’s punishment in the afterlife.”  He’s insisting his country is making progress and is proposing talks with the Taliban, which does not recognize his government’s legitimacy.