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Taliban Attacks Kill at Least 69 Across Afghanistan

A local official said two car bombs blew up near the compound that also houses the provincial headquarters of the national police, border police and Afghan National Army
Smoke rises from police headquarters while Afghan security forces keep watch after a suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked the provincial police headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, Afghanistan on October 17.Smoke rises from police headquarters while Afghan security forces keep watch after a suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked the provincial police headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, Afghanistan on October 17.

Taliban militants struck government targets in many provinces of Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, including a senior police commander, and wounding scores of others.

The deadliest attack hit a police training centre attached to the police headquarters in Gardez, main city of Paktia Province, Reuters reported.

Two Taliban suicide car bombers paved the way for a number of gunmen to attack the compound, officials and militants said. At least 21 police officers were killed, including the Paktia provincial police chief, with 48 others wounded, according to government officials.

The attack also left at least 20 civilians dead and 110 wounded, the Interior Ministry said. Security forces killed at least five attackers.

A local official said two car bombs blew up near the compound that also houses the provincial headquarters of the national police, border police and Afghan National Army.

Dozens of dead and wounded were taken to the city hospital, even as many more lay where they fell during the fighting, deputy public health director Hedayatullah Hameedi said.

Paktia borders Pakistan’s militancy-plagued tribal areas where the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network has a presence.

The Taliban, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by US-led forces, claimed responsibility.

The militant group also attacked a district centre in neighboring Ghazni Province on Tuesday, an offensive that included detonating armored Humvee vehicles packed with explosives near the provincial governor’s office.

Provincial officials said at least 15 government security forces were killed and 12 wounded in the Ghazni attacks, with 13 civilians killed and seven wounded.

The Taliban said they had killed 31 security forces and wounded 21 in those clashes.

  Drone Attacks Kill 31 Taliban

Meanwhile, two suspected US drone strikes on Tuesday killed 11 people on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border, following a strike a day earlier that killed 20, government and militant sources said.

“Four unmanned drones fired six missiles in Monday’s attack, and four more were dropped in two strikes on Tuesday,” Baseer Khan Wazir, the top administrative official in the Kurram Agency, part of Pakistan’s restive Federally Administered Tribal Areasm, told Reuters.

The drones fired missiles on Taliban hideouts, killing at least 31 people over two days, he added, with all three attacks taking place on the Afghan side.

The latest attacks comes as four-way talks between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China reportedly are being held in Oman with the aim of ending the Taliban’s 16-year insurgency.

 

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