x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Afghan Taliban kill at least seven at government compound

District governor and policemen among those killed in Ghazni province

A member of the Afghan security forces keeps watch near the government compound in Khwaja Omari district of Ghazni province after an attack by Taliban militants on April 12, 2018. Zakeria Hahimi / AFP
A member of the Afghan security forces keeps watch near the government compound in Khwaja Omari district of Ghazni province after an attack by Taliban militants on April 12, 2018. Zakeria Hahimi / AFP

Afghan Taliban militants launched a pre-dawn raid on a district government compound on Thursday, killing at least seven people including the local governor.

Six police also died and 10 intelligence officers were wounded in the attack on the Khwaja Omari district headquarters in the south-eastern province of Ghazni, the provincial governor's office said.

Deputy provincial police chief Ramazan Ali Mohsini said the militants used a ladder to climb into the compound in the early hours of Thursday.

Mr Mohsini put the death toll at 13, including the local governor, police and intelligence officers. Scores of Taliban fighters were also killed, he said.

Afghan officials often give conflicting casualty figures immediately after an attack.

"The attack is over and the district is under the control of Afghan security forces after reinforcement forces rushed to the scene following the Taliban attack," Mr Mohsini said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid in a WhatsApp message to journalists, saying "more than 20 police" were killed and several others wounded.

"Our mujahideen have confiscated weapons and ammunition," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

"In the attack three mujahideen were martyred and four others were wounded."

_______________

Read more:

Top ISIL commander in Afghanistan killed in air strike

Taliban blow up Afghan power lines over funding dispute

Kabul is offering the Taliban a peace deal, just as the militant group is preparing for a new war

_______________

The attack was one of the deadliest by the Taliban in several weeks and comes as the militants prepare to launch their annual spring offensive, which marks the beginning of the traditional fighting season.

The Taliban are under pressure to take up President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks but so far they have not responded directly to the proposal.

The militants had vowed to take revenge over an Afghan air strike last week in an area controlled by the group in the northern province of Kunduz.

Dozens of people, many of them children, were killed or wounded after Afghan Air Force helicopters struck a madrassa in Dashte Archi district, security sources and witnesses said.

_______________

Read more:

In Afghanistan, a bus brings joy of reading to children

Life a little sweeter for young bee-keeper in Afghanistan

Afghanistan to hold parliamentary election in October

_______________