Blast hits Afghan, foreign troops as bombers killed
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A car suicide bombing targeted Afghan and foreign troops in southern Kandahar province on Thursday, moments after three suicide bombers were killed in a clash with police, witnesses and official sources said.
The suicide attacker in an ambulance detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near Afghan and international forces who were busy evacuating casualties from the site of an earlier suicide blast and gun attack, according to witnesses.
It was not immediately known how many people were killed and wounded in the second attack that came moments after three suicide attackers held up in a building near a police training centre opened fire at police in Daman district on the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
The clash erupted at 10am after a blast near the police headquarters and the police recruitment and training centre, the governor's spokesman, Zalmay Ayubi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
"A few suicide attackers had entered an under construction building and firing at the police buildings," he said, adding so far three suicide bombers have been killed, with police suffering no casualties.
The first incident began at 10am when a number of militants attacked the police site in the eastern outskirts of the provincial capital.
"The militants have occupied an empty building and are firing on the adjacent police compound," the governor's office said in a statement.
'The combined Afghan forces have so far killed three members of the armed group and have surrounded the building to track down the remaining individuals," the statement said, adding that there were no casualties among the local security forces.
Residents reported a massive blast and small-arms fire while a helicopter was also seen hovering over the area. "There was a big bang before a gun-battle starting between attackers and police," Rahmatullah, an eyewitness, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Afghan and foreign forces had cordoned off the area.
"The clash started after some militants stormed a former police headquarters," police chief, Brig. Gen. Khan Mohammad Mujahid, said. The headquarters is currently used as police training centre, he said.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said four suicide bombers laced with guns attacked the police recruitment centre after one of the attackers blew up his explosives-filled car at the gate of the compound. The clash was still ongoing, the rebel spokesman claimed.
Witnesses said a suicide bomber using an ambulance attacked Afghan and foreign troops at 1pm during the rescue operation. Several people were killed in the blast, they said.
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