Artists and activists have handed out 10,000 pink balloons to residents in Afghanistan's war-weary capital, bringing smiles to surprised Kabul residents a day after a major Taliban siege on an international compound in the city.

Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda organized the "We Believe in Balloons" day. He says each balloon contains a written message of peace from volunteers around the world.

Afghan volunteers were up before dawn Saturday to put the messages inside and fill the balloons with helium. Then they took to the streets of downtown Kabul's riverfront to distribute them to passers-by.

The colorful spectacle clearly delighted many Afghans eager for a chance to smile as the war with Taliban insurgents grinds on.

The Taliban assault the day before killed four people plus the six attackers.