Six dead as Taliban attack Afghan police centre

Six Afghan security personnel were killed as Taliban gunmen detonated a bomb hidden in an ambulance at a police centre near the key southern city of Kandahar.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 19:36 PM IST

Kandahar: Six Afghan security
personnel were killed on Thursday as Taliban gunmen detonated a bomb
hidden in an ambulance at a police centre near the key
southern city of Kandahar.

The attack was the latest to target Afghanistan`s
Western-backed security forces just a few months before US-led
NATO troops start limited withdrawals after nearly 10 years of
war against the Taliban.

"Insurgents have blown up an ambulance vehicle full of
explosives which killed six members of the national security
forces and wounded 10 more," including one civilian, the
Kandahar governor`s office said.

Three insurgents, who were thought to have been armed
with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, were also
killed, it added.

A local hospital said it had so far received 14 wounded,
including an 11-year-old boy, and one body.

A news agency reporter at the scene reported two loud explosions
and gunfire, but it was not immediately clear if the fighting
was over.

The attack took place at a complex just outside Kandahar
which is used for police training as well as army and police
recruitment.

A new police headquarters for the city is also being
built there, following a Taliban attack on the previous office
in February which left 19 people dead.

Kandahar is the de facto capital of southern Afghanistan
and the birthplace of the Taliban militia waging an insurgency
against US-led troops. Local police and officials are
frequently targeted.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault.
Spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP that four of their fighters
had entered the police centre, saying it was "currently on
fire and there is a lot of smoke from the compound".

The attack is the latest to target Afghanistan`s roughly
120,000-strong police, who will play a growing role in the
country`s security as international troops start a limited
withdrawal from seven relatively peaceful areas in July.

Last month, the police chief of the northern province of
Kunduz was killed by a suicide bombing also claimed by the
Taliban.

NATO-led forces say the Kandahar area, seen as
strategically important due to its strong Taliban links and
proximity to the Pakistani border, is safer following intense
fighting in recent months despite recent attacks.

Around 130,000 NATO troops, about two-thirds of them
from the US, are in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban and other
groups.

PTI