Taliban suicide squad targets Afghan govt compound; 13 killed
Taliban suicide bombers disguised as police attacked a government compound on Wednesday in southwestern Afghanistan in an assault that left 13 people dead, including a provincial council member and all nine attackers, authorities said.
Kabul: Taliban suicide bombers disguised as
police attacked a government compound on Wednesday in southwestern
Afghanistan in an assault that left 13 people dead, including
a provincial council member and all nine attackers,
Eight of the bombers blew themselves up and police shot
the ninth, President Hamid Karzai`s office said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which
came as the provincial council was meeting in Zaranj, the
capital of Nimroz province. The militant group said the
council was trying to turn Afghans against the militants.
Insurgents have carried out coordinated suicide attacks
on government and aid installations in the past to strike a
blow against NATO and Afghan attempts to counter the
This summer, a US-led military operation will try to
clear the southern city of Kandahar of Taliban fighters in
what will be a critical test of the war.
Many insurgents fled to Nimroz province, which is farther
west and along the border Iran, earlier this year when troops
conducted an offensive to rout the Taliban from neighbouring
Nimroz is also a major trafficking route for
Afghanistan`s huge opium trade.
In today`s hour-long attack, nine suicide bombers wearing
Afghan National Police uniforms tried to infiltrate the
provincial governor`s compound, where the Nimroz council was
meeting, said provincial police chief Gen Abdul Jabar
Police became suspicious and fired on them, Pardeli said.
The suicide bombers then began to blow themselves up or
fire back, prompting blasts and gunbattles.
A female provincial council member was among the dead,
according to provincial Gov Gulam Dastagar Azad.
Two police officers and a civilian also died, and 10
police were wounded, authorities said.
Sadeq Chakhansori, a member of the Afghan Parliament who
was in Nimroz for a meeting, identified the dead council
member as Gul Maki Wakhali.
Police also found a car packed with explosives near the
compound, which houses a court, the governor`s offices and a
guest house, Azad said.
The Interior Ministry said the car bomb was defused
before it could explode.
The Taliban carried out the attack because the council
was trying to persuade Afghans to turn against the insurgents,
said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi.
He said the council included "friends of NATO," and that
"any friend of the enemy is an enemy."