7 police among 17 killed in suicide attacksBy Ahmad Quraishi Apr 10, 2012 - 10:04
LASHKARGAH/HERAT CITY (PAN): Seven policemen were among 17 people killed in two separate suicide attacks on government offices in southern Helmand and western Herat provinces on Tuesday, officials said. More than 60 others were wounded.
The daring assaults came two days after NATO-led troops transferred the control of night raid to Afghan forces. A deal on nettlesome nightime operations was signed between Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and top US commander Gen. John Allen.
A three-member insurgent group rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the Musa Qala district headquarters in Helmand at about 11am, killing four policemen, said Daud Ahmadi, the governor’s spokesman, who previously told Pajhwok Afghan News eight security personnel were killed.
After the huge blast, two other suicide attackers tried to storm the building but police shot them dead, the gubernatorial spokesman said, adding that four policemen were killed and the district police chief was among four others wounded in the explosion and gunfire.
As usual, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the district’s administrative chief, police head and other government officials were the target. Rebel spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, without giving specific casualty figures, said the attack resulted in heavy fatalities.
Also on Tuesday morning, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed vehicle in front of the Guzra district headquarters in western Herat province, killing 12 people and wounding 57 others, including policemen.
The bomber struck at about 8:45am after police barred him from entering the district’s headquarters, said Brig. Gen. Syed Agha Saqeb, the provincial police chief. According to initial intelligence reports, two suspects, one clad in a burqa, were in the car, he added.
Mahammad Rafiq Sherzai, a spokesman for the Herat Zonal Hospital, said a dozen dead bodies and 57 injured people had been brought to hospitals in the district and the provincial capital. Three policemen and nine civilians, including a girl and a woman, were among the dead, he added.
Police had received a tip that the black vehicle was loaded with explosives, according to police spokesman Col. Abdul rauf Ahmadi. Chased by police, the car turned to the district headquarters and tried to pass the checkpoint. When police stopped the two suspects, the vehicle exploded.