Suicide attacks, clashes kill over 30 in Afghanistan (Lead)

September 8th, 2008 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Sep 7 (DPA) Two suicide attackers blew themselves up at the police headquarters in Kandahar city Sunday, killing and wounding more than 30, while two dozen Taliban were killed in airstrikes and clashes elsewhere in the country, officials have said.The bombers detonated their explosives inside the police headquarters Sunday afternoon, provincial police chief Matiullah Khan said. Kandahar city is the capital of the province of the same name.

While Khan said two policemen were killed and 24 policemen and five civilians were wounded, Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of provincial council in Kandahar and younger of brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, gave different figures for death toll.

“According to information I received, six policemen and two civilians were killed in the attack and more than 20 others were wounded,” Karzai said.

Earlier, a police officer at the scene of the attack told DPA that six police officers were killed and 15 others wounded.

The police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bombers targeted border police commander Abdul Razaq Khan as he was entering the provincial police headquarters.

Razaq was also wounded in the attack, the source said.

Taliban spokesman, Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi, claimed that two of their fighters, Abdul Matin and Qari Mohammad Wali, both residents of the southern region, carried out the attacks.

Ahmadi, who was speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, told DPA that dozens of policemen were killed and wounded in the blasts.

In another suicide bombing Sunday, a bomber targeted an Italian NATO military convoy in Herat Province in western Afghanistan, killing himself but causing no other casualties, Abdul Rauf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the police in the western region said.

Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces killed at least 24 Taliban in clashes and airstrikes in eastern and southern regions, officials claimed Sunday.

Twelve Taliban militants were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in Sabari district of south-eastern province of Khost on Saturday, Arsala Jamal, provincial governor said.

He said the combined forces targeted a compound where they had intelligence information that militants had gathered.

The US military also confirmed the air raid in a statement issued Sunday, saying the operation targeted a militant wanted for conducting and coordinating direct and suicide attacks in Sabari District.

More than 10 insurgents were killed during the operation, and seven others were detained, the statement said.

The attack took place in the same region where two NATO soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack Saturday, the alliance said in a statement on late Saturday night.

The statement did not reveal the nationalities of the dead soldiers. Most of the troops deployed to the eastern region are from the US.

At least 12 other militants were killed in two separate clashes in volatile southern Helmand province Saturday, Mohammad Hussain Andewal, provincial police chief said.

He said two rebels were killed in Nawa district of the province, and more than 10 others were killed during a five-hour firefight in Nad Ali district.

The claimed death tolls could not be verified independently due to the remoteness of the area.

Helmand and other southern provinces of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan have borne the brunt of the Taliban-led insurgency since the radical Islamist regime was ousted by the US invasion in 2001.

The violence so far this year has killed more than 3,800 people, mostly insurgents.

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