At least five killed, 15 wounded in multiple suicide bombings at Afghan police station

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 June, 2017, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 June, 2017, 11:00pm

At least five Afghan policemen were killed and 15 people injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack by Taliban insurgents on the police headquarters in an eastern city on Sunday, authorities said.

The attack, claimed by the Taliban, began around 6.30am when one bomber detonated a car packed with explosives at the gate of the police headquarters in Gardez city, capital of Paktia province, said Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

Four more attackers stormed the gate after the blast, with at least two quickly killed by police. The others held out against Afghan special forces that had responded to the attack, he said.

Danish put the toll at two police killed and five wounded.

However, doctors at the city hospital said they had received the bodies of at least five police, as well as at least 30 wounded people, including 20 civilians.

Regional police commander Asadullah Shirzad said five civilians were among the wounded.

“The first attacker blew up his vehicle at the entrance to the headquarters, opening the way for two others who opened fire on security forces, and another suicide bomber was shot dead,” he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reporting more than 100 police were killed and wounded.

Insurgent groups like the Taliban and Islamic State have launched a string of attacks across Afghanistan in recent weeks.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mosque in Kabul on Thursday.

A massive truck bombing and suicide attacks left hundreds dead and wounded at the end of May and beginning of June, raising political tensions for the Afghan government, which is struggling to combat rising violence and corruption.

Thousands of international troops are in the country to train and assist Afghan security forces as well as carry out counterterrorism missions.

American defence officials say in coming weeks they will decide whether to send between 3,000 to 5,000 more troops as requested by military commanders.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse