KANDAHAR: Taliban suicide bombers killed 19 people, including 17 members of the Afghan security forces, on Saturday in an attack in southern Kandahar province, the focus of Nato efforts to turn the tide of the war.
Insurgents used guns, suicide bombs and a car laden with explosives in an assault on the provincial police headquarters in the city of Kandahar.
Provincial officials said 15 police and an intelligence official were killed. Nato-led forces said later the death toll was 19, including two civilians. They said 49 people were wounded, including 23 civilians and nine children.
The assault lasted for several hours as gunmen opened fire from the windows of a nearby wedding hall and three suicide bombers blew themselves up. A car bomb detonated near the perimeter of the police compound, the Nato-led coalition said.
Nato and Afghan forces scrambled to respond during the attack as gunfire rang out over the city.
The Kandahar governor said a fourth insurgent wearing a suicide vest was shot and wounded before he managed to detonate his explosives. The militant was taken into police custody.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The enemies of Afghanistan have once again shown their evil intent,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement, ordering security to be intensified in Kandahar.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2011.
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