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Taliban suicide bombers target Kabul security forces in fatal attacks

Smoke rises from a district police headquarters after a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

RAHMAT GUL/AP

By PHILLIP WALTER WELLMAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 1, 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan — Suicide bombers struck Afghan security forces in separate attacks in the capital on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens, officials said.

A car bomb targeting a police station in western Kabul detonated about 12:30 p.m., said Najib Danish, the Interior Ministry’s deputy spokesman.

He said a separate suicide bomber attacked an office of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, in an eastern district about the same time. The bombings were followed by gunfire between attackers and security forces.

Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they also hit a military academy and recruitment center in the western part of the city.

Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said 15 people were killed and 50 others, mostly civilians, were wounded in total. School children were among the casualties, he said.

“It’s just shameful,” said Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, the spokesman for U.S. and NATO forces. “When we see these types of events, it absolutely reaffirms what it is we are here to do.”

President Ashraf Ghani also condemned the attacks, saying they were likely conducted to boost morale among Taliban fighters following recent battlefield setbacks.

On Tuesday, United States Forces-Afghanistan confirmed that the Taliban commander for Kunduz, Mullah Salam, had been killed in a joint operation with Afghan forces.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

wellman.phillip@stripes.com

Twitter: @PhillipWellman

 

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