suicide attack on Afghan police station kills 11
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[March 20, 2014]
By Rafiq Shirzad
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) — Taliban
fighters killed at least 11 people and wounded 22 in a suicide bomb
attack and gunbattle at a police station in Afghanistan's eastern
Jalalabad city early on Thursday morning, according to police and health
The attack in one of Afghanistan's main cities comes ahead of a
presidential election on April 5, and demonstrated the insurgents
determination to disrupt the vote.
The assault began with two explosions just before dawn targeting the
police station and a nearby square, close to compounds used by
international organizations including the United Nations.
The initial attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, one of
them driving a three-wheeler vehicle.
The NATO-led force in Afghanistan sent helicopter gunships to
support Afghan security forces as a fire fight raged for over three
hours before they were able to clear the area of the remaining
Police said they shot dead six Taliban, and all of them wore suicide vests.
"From today's attack in Jalalabad so far, we have received 11 dead
bodies and 22 wounded," the head of the provincial hospital,
Humayoun Zahir, told Reuters.
A police district chief was among the dead, according to Fazel Ahmad
Shirzad, police chief for Nangahar province. The wounded included an
Afghan assigned to a security detail for U.N. staff and the offices
of a local radio and television broadcaster were also damaged in the
attack, according to a security source.
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The Taliban claimed responsibility in a text message sent to media.
The militants have threatened to kill anyone participating in the
election, and have stepped up attacks in heavily populated areas
including the capital Kabul since the start of the year.
Security forces discovered at least two roadside bombs on the
heavily guarded highway between Jalalabad and Kabul on Wednesday,
and carried out controlled explosions.
(Reporting by Rafiq Shirzad in Jalalabad and Mirwais Harooni and
Jessica Donati in Kabul; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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