5 dead in Taliban attack in Spin Boldak
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Two militants stormed the Spin Boldak district headquarters in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, killing five people and wounding 15 others, officials said.
One tribal elder, a police coordinator and a child were among the dead, the provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzaq, told journalists.`
One of the insurgents crashed his explosives-packed vehicle into the government building around 12.00 noon, the district chief told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Mohammad Hashim Agha said the second attacker entered the office complex and blew himself up inside the building where a meeting of the local council was in progress.
The roof of the meeting hall collapsed, killing a tribal elder and injuring 15 others, he added.
But the governor’s spokesman, Javed Faisal, said three tribal elders were killed and 15 others, including three policemen, injured.
The injured were taken to the main district hospital, where some were in critical condition, a doctor said on condition of anonymity.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, asserted responsibility for the attack, carried out by two of the movement’s fighters. Thirteen people were killed and 17 others wounded, he claimed.
President Karzai denounced the suicide bombing as the handiwork of Afghanistan’s enemies, who always tried to target the innocent civilians.
The president extended his condolences to the victims’ families and prayed for the early recovery of the wounded.
The US embassy in Kabul said: "This shameful attack is even more reprehensible because the insurgents attacked a tribal shura building where local leaders had gathered to work toward bringing peace and stability to their community. This was truly an act of cowardice."
While offering condolences to the families of the deceased, the embassy wished the wounded a speedy recovery. "The US will continue to stand with Afghan people who are working everyday to unite communities and work toward a stable and prosperous Afghanistan."
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), meanwhile, strongly condemned the assault that killed and injured several innocent civilians.
"The enemies of peace committed another ruthless act of violence today," said Gen. John R. Allen, the ISAF commander. "This is yet another brutal example of the insurgency's total disregard for innocent civilians..."
In 2012 the insurgency killed or injured more than 3,400 Afghan civilians, mostly by IEDs and suicide bombs, said a statement from the multinational force.