A Briton was killed and several wounded in a Taliban assault on the compound of a UK security company that left six dead.
Luke Griffin, a 33-year-old military veteran from Merseyside, was killed when attackers struck the G4S compound in the east of the Afghan capital, Kabul. A car bomb went off outside the compound and the blast was followed up by gunmen who managed to get inside the building.
Four Afghans working for the company were also killed, in an attack claimed by Taliban insurgents.
Several hundred people are understood to have taken refuge in bunkers as Afghan army commandos spent hours trying to clear the compound of attackers.
The attack left a large crater and widespread damage to buildings. G4S said another 32 staff were injured in what it called an "unprovoked, criminal attack".
Mr Griffin is believed to have lived in the Rainhill area of Merseyside with his girlfriend, Helen Morris and their son, who turns two next week.
His mother, Jacqueline Tooke, 52, on Thursday changed her Facebook profile picture to a photograph of her alongside her son and grandson, writing: "I’ve got no words."
G4S provides security for clients including the British embassy and companies and organisations working in Afghanistan.
A statement from Charlie Burbridge, managing director of G4S Risk Management Group, said "We are committed to our security role in support of the people of Afghanistan, and we are determined that incidents such as this will not prevent the vital work that the international community conducts from happening."
The company’s website says it has a purpose-built headquarters in Kabul’s Anjuman Secure Business Park. The 26,000 square metre secure compound provides "operational support" for clients and can also provide secure accommodation.
The attacks come at the end of what is likely to be the bloodiest year of the West’s 17-year-long to support the Afghan government against Taliban insurgents and the newer threat of Isil.
Casualties among both Afghan forces and civilians have reached record levels, while Taliban control of rural districts is undiminished. Kabul has become a focus for much of the violence in recent years.
Last week at least 55 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated during a meeting of clerics in a Kabul meeting hall.