Bombers attack 2 Afghan towns

Eight militants launch coordinated strikes on government offices, kill six

Bombers attack 2 Afghan towns


Gunmen with explosives strapped to their chests attempted to storm several government offices in the town of Gardez and a United States airfield in the town of Jalalabad on Tuesday morning. Government officials said it was an attempt to spread fear among the population but that police had reacted quickly and eliminated the threat.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility and said it had dispatched at least 15 bombers to the two provincial towns.

The coordinated attacks on three government compounds in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, followed a pattern used increasingly by Taliban operatives in which suicide bombers attack in waves to try to penetrate the security barriers.

In Gardez, three suicide bombers attacked the headquarters of the National Security Directorate. One bomber detonated his explosives, killing three intelligence officers, but the two others were killed before they could advance or detonate their own explosives.

Aborted attempt

In a separate attack, two bombers tried to force their way into the governor’s office but were shot dead by guards before they could set off their explosives. A sixth attacker targeted a police station and was also killed. Two police officers were wounded in the attacks.

“It is the enemy of Afghanistan,” the spokesman said when asked who was behind the attacks. “I cannot name a specific group that is responsible, but it is people who want to spread fear and it is the opposition, the Taliban, that did it,” he said.

In Jalalabad, police noticed two men on a motorbike acting suspiciously and followed them. One officer approached them in an attempt to make an arrest but was shot dead by the men. Other officers then opened fire on them and killed them.

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