Associated Press, October 18, 2017
Wave of Taliban suicide attacks on Afghan forces kills at least 74
In southern Ghazni, suicide car bombers stormed a security compound in Andar district and killed 25 police officers and five civilians
The aftermath of a suicide bomb attack on a police post in Gardez city of Paktia province, Afghanistan on Oct. 17, 2017. 21 police officers and 20 civilians were killed. Among the wounded were 48 police officers and 110 civilians. (Photo: Ahmadullah Ahmadi/EPA)
(Photo: Farid Zahir/AFP/Getty Images)
Up to 150 people were injured in the Gardez attack.(Photo: Farid Zahir/AFP/Getty Images)
At least 74 people have been killed in a wave of Taliban suicide attacks targeting police compounds and government facilities in the south, east and west of Afghanistan.
Among those killed was a provincial police chief. Scores of people, including police officers and civilians, were also wounded.
The deputy interior minister, Murad Ali Murad, said the attacks on Tuesday had been the biggest this year.
He told a press conference in Kabul that 71 people had been killed by insurgents in Ghazni and Paktia provinces.
In southern Paktia province, 21 police officers and 20 civilians were killed when suicide car bombers targeted a police compound in the provincial capital of Gardez. Among the wounded were 48 police officers and 110 civilians.
The provincial police chief, Toryalai Abdyani, was killed in the Paktia attack, Murad confirmed.
The interior ministry said that after the two cars had exploded in Gardez, five assailants with suicide belts had tried to storm the compound but had been killed by Afghan security forces.
Gardez city hospital reported receiving at least 130 people wounded in the attack, a health ministry spokesman, Waheed Majroo, said.
Hamza Aqmhal, a student at Paktia University, said he had heard a powerful blast that shattered the windows of the building he was in. The university is about 1.25 miles from the training academy, said Aqmhal, who was slightly injured by broken glass.
A lawmaker from Paktia, Mujeeb Rahman Chamkni, said that along with the provincial chief of police several of his staff had been killed in the attack. Most of the casualties were civilians who had come to the centre, which also serves as a passport office, Chamkni said.
In southern Ghazni, suicide car bombers stormed a security compound in Andar district and killed 25 police officers and five civilians, Murad said. At least 15 people were wounded in the attack, including 10 police officers, he added.
Despite the high death toll, Murad said Afghan forces remained confident about their “readiness to fight terrorists and eliminate them from Afghanistan”.
Arif Noori, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Ghazni, said the onslaught there had lasted nine hours. The bodies of 13 Taliban fighters were discovered after the attack, Noori added.
In western Farah province, the police chief, Abdul Maruf Fulad, said Taliban fighters had killed three police officers in an attack on a government compound in Shibkho district.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks.
Murad said the militant group had sustained heavy losses over the past six months at the hands of Afghan forces and was seeking revenge.
Characters Count: 4175