Kabul: The number of people killed in the attack on an Afghan government complex housing the Vice Ministry for Martyrs and the Disabled in Kabul climbed to 48 on Tuesday as the security forces retook and inspected the building, room by room.

Afghan Public Health Ministry spokesperson Wahidullah Majroh confirmed the toll in a press conference in Kabul and said that almost all the victims, 11 of them women, are civilians while five attackers were also killed.

Among the 27 people wounded in the attack, including two children and seven women, some have already been discharged after being given first aid, he added.

A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at the entrance of the building, the department being a part of the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, on Monday afternoon, thus clearing the way for four other armed insurgents to get inside the facility.

During the next almost seven hours that the attack lasted, three of them took positions in the nearby building of the ministry of public works, Interior Ministry spokesperson Najib Danish said in the same press conference.

“Darkness of the night and location of the attacked buildings among residential area prolonged the operation. The security forces could rescue 357 employees of the attacked organs,” Danish said.

“We still don’t know who or which group has been behind the attack,” he added.

The Taliban denied being behind the attack in a message posted on spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

Kabul has been the scene of many such attacks this year. In late November, Taliban attackers killed 15 people and wounded about 30 in a 10-hour battle with security forces after assaulting a facility of Britain’s G4S security firm.

The deadliest attack this year came in January, when the Taliban blew up an ambulance bomb near the old Interior Ministry, which still houses government offices, killing more than 100.