29 dead, 58 injured in attack on Ghazni PRT
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Nearly 30 people were killed and more than 50 others, including NATO soldiers, wounded in an insurgent attack on the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in southern Ghazni province, officials said on Thursday.
The dead included 22 assailants, three policemen and four civilians, the Ghazni police chief, Brig. Gen. Zarawar Zahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News. Six polish soldiers and 52 civilians were wounded in Wednesday’s assault.
One suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle in front of the base, operated by Polish and Afghan forces, triggering a gunbattle between the assailants and security personnel, Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada said.
Akbarzada confirmed the police and civilian fatalities during the explosion and the ensuing clash that lasted three years. He said 58 others, including foreign soldiers and police officials, were among the wounded.
“On Wednesday, afternoon a group of insurgents tried to break into the Polish base, while shelling the base. All the insurgents have been eliminated,” the NATO-led force said in a statement.
The situation on the base was under control, it said, adding seven Polish soldiers were injured. They were transported to the military field hospital in Ghazni, where they were administered immediate medical aid.
A girls’ school and several houses were destroyed by militants in the Tauhidabad area, the governor said, promising the affected people would be compensated.
Resident Mohammad Rasul said a group of rebels, clad in Afghan army uniforms, entered his house at 4.30pm on Wednesday and opened from there a volley of fire at the PRT.
Col. Haider Nekpa, the 203rd Thunder Military Corps commander, said the soldiers seized on Wednesday five explosives-laden vehicles in the area. The militants attacked the base from three directions, he added.
Dozens of guerrillas took part in the assault, according to provincial peace committee member Khalil Hotak, who said security organs had received a tip-off that militants had packed four vehicles with explosives in Khogyani district.
He also confirmed receiving intelligence about insurgents having gathered in Qalati, Zargar, Asfandi and Tauhidabad areas on the periphery of Ghazni City. The rebels stormed the PRT from Tauhidabad.
As usual, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack involving a group of 13 suicide bombers. The movement’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said a large number of Afghan and foreign troops were killed in the eight-hour fighting.
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