25 killed in Taliban attack in Afghanistan, BBC reporter dead (Lead)

July 28th, 2011 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, July 28 (IANS) Taliban militants launched multiple suicide bombings in a southern Afghan city Thursday, killing at least 25 people, officials said. Among the dead were six militants and a BBC reporter.

Another 35 people were injured in the attacks in Trinkot, capital of Uruzgan province, 370 km south of Kabul, provincial spokesman Ahmad Milad Mudasir told Xinhua.

The explosions began around 12.30 p.m. but had been brought under control after about four hours of fighting, he said.

BBC, however, put the toll at 22. It said there were three suicide bombings followed by a gun battle in a market, and that there were eight attackers.

BBC Pashto radio service reporter Ahmad Omid Khpolwak also died in the attack, the network said.

Khan Agha Niakhil, head of the Trinkot city health department, told Xinhua 10 children and two women were among those killed.

A Taliban spokesman named Qari Yusuf Ahmadi told the media via telephone from an undisclosed location that six fighters equipped with suicide vests and small arms targeted the compound of a local television network, police department and provincial governor’s office.

Afghan intelligence officials said at least one bomb exploded near the governor’s office and one near the offices of a security firm owned by a local militia.

Witnesses said heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles were used by both sides.

Mohammad Dadu, a butcher, told BBC: “I didn’t have time to close my shop. I saw two bodies and four injured people with blood on their clothes.”

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