Afghan Taliban hits government buildings in coordinated blasts

Taliban launched simultaneous attacks on three government buildings in southwestern Afghanistan.

Afghan Taliban hits government buildings in coordinated blasts

Taliban launched simultaneous attacks on three government buildings in southwestern Afghanistan, killing three people, including a government official, police said.

The Taliban have launched a series of attacks in the Afghan south in recent weeks, targeting government buildings and officials in an attempt to weaken the US-backed government and drive foreign forces out of the country.

Wednesday's attacks, involving nine fighters wearing suicide vests, took place in the town of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province only miles from the Iranian border.

Nimroz is a largely desert province that shares a long border with Iran and lies next to Helmand. U.S. Marines have a base in Nimroz from where they launch attacks there and in Helmand.

U.S. troops are massing in Kandahar, preparing for what will be the largest offensive of the nearly nine-year-old war, expected to begin next month.

The attack will see 30,000 reinforcements pledged by U.S. President Barack Obama in December.

It will involve more than 23,000 ground troops, including about 8,500 Americans, 3,000 Canadians and 12,000 Afghan soldiers and police.

Provincial police chief Abdul Jabar Pordeli said eight of the bombers managed to detonate their explosives at three separate locations in the town -- the governor's compound, the justice department and the court house. The ninth bomber was gunned down by security forces, he said.

"One female provincial council member and two soldiers were killed in the attacks," Pordeli said, adding that 11 people, including four civilians, had been wounded.

Afghan security forces fought with some of the fighters in a gun battle lasting more than two hours. Pordeli said the fighting had now stopped.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said earlier fighters had killed at least 20 members of the Afghan security forces and were trying to seize the governor's building.



Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2010, 15:02
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