Multiple suicide bombers kill 10 in Afghanistan (Lead)

April 1st, 2009 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, April 1 (DPA) Four militants outfitted with explosives and automatic rifles attacked a provincial council office in southern Afghanistan Wednesday, killing seven civilians and three police officers, an interior ministry spokesman said.
One attacker detonated an explosives-laden vehicle in front of the office in Kandahar, the capital of Kandahar province, killing a police officer guarding the compound, ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.

The remaining three attackers, wearing explosives-filled suicide vests, entered the building and opened fire on civilians, killing seven people, he said, adding that police then arrived at the scene and engaged the attackers.

“Two of the bombers were shot dead by our police forces before they could detonate their explosives, but the third bomber detonated himself and the blast only killed the bomber,” Bashary said.

The ministry later said two more police officers were also killed but did not say whether they were shot by the militants or died in the explosions.

Sixteen other people, including police and civilians, were wounded, said Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for public health ministry.

Members of the provincial council were holding a meeting with local elders when the attack took place, but Bashary said there were no casualties among the local lawmakers.

President Hamid Karzai’s younger brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, is the head of the Kandahar provincial council, but officials could not confirm if he was inside the compound when the attack took place.

Meanwhile, Afghan forces backed by international troops killed 30 suspected Taliban militants, including a local commander, in neighbouring Helmand province, an interior ministry statement said.

Afghan police and NATO-led troops targeted the militants Tuesday in several villages of the Kajaki district, leaving 20 militants wounded, the statement said.

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