Afghan police thwart would-be suicide squad: Government

Last Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 18:46

Kabul: Afghan security forces shot dead five
men wearing suicide vests and armed with guns as they tried to
storm government buildings and a bazaar in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the government said.

Militants in Afghanistan`s long insurgency have
increasingly mounted coordinated suicide bomb attacks in their
attempt to destabilise the Western-backed government.

In the most recent attack, 35 people including police
officers and civilians were killed on Saturday in multiple
suicide bomb attacks in Kandahar, the southern birthplace of
the Taliban movement.

Today`s thwarted attack in the town of Barmal, on the
Pakistan border in Paktika province, appeared to be a
similarly coordinated attempt to reach several targets at
once, the interior ministry said.

"The suicide bombers, who were also armed with different
types of guns... were killed before reaching their targets,"
it said in a statement.

Three of the bombers were shot dead "after they were
identified" and two others briefly exchanged fire with police
before they were killed, it said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday`s attack
in Kandahar, saying it was a pre-emptive response to plans led
by the US military to take the war to the militants in
Kandahar.

A massive campaign is currently under way in neighbouring
Helmand province which will serve as a template for the
counter-insurgency strategy that is set to move to Kandahar in
coming months, military planners say.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 18:46

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