Insurgents attack animal clinic near UN offices in southern Afghanistan

October 31st, 2011 - 7:23 pm ICT by BNO News  

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Six people were killed on early Monday morning when a small group of insurgents attacked an animal clinic near offices belonging to the United Nations in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

The attack began at around 6 a.m. local time when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden truck in front of an animal clinic in the sixth sub-district of Kandahar City, the capital of the province which carries the same name.

The ‘huge’ explosion blew out windows and caused extensive damage to nearby buildings, killing two workers at the animal clinic and three UN employees. Six others, a clinic worker, two civilians and three people at the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), were injured.

After the initial explosion, three other armed insurgents entered the animal clinic and opened fire at Afghan police officers. “Unfortunately, one of our brave police officers, and head of the sixth police sub-station in Kandahar, was martyred during [the] gun-battle with the insurgents and sacrificed his life for his countrymen,” a government spokesperson said.

Afghan officials said the group of insurgents had planned to inflict more casualties to the security forces and destroy the UN and other offices in the area. “But [they] were not able to reach their objectives and ANP (Afghan National Police) proved they are stronger and braver compared to the insurgents,” the spokesperson said.

Although the Afghan government described the event as a failed attack, the United Nations confirmed three UNHCR employees were killed and two more were wounded. “This is a tragedy for UNHCR and for the families of the dead and wounded. It underscores the great risks for humanitarian workers in Afghanistan,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

Guterres added: “I am hugely saddened. All of us at UNHCR stand in solidarity with the families of those who have died or been injured.” The Kandahar Governor’s office condemned the attack, describing it as “un-Islamic and un-Afghan”

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack. “They initially went to each of the rooms in the building, killing all the enemy personnel inside using their weapons and even machetes and after a long while, took up positions inside the building and targeted the enemy troops arriving for reinforcement,” he said.

The Taliban claimed at least 22 people were killed during the attack, but the insurgent group often exaggerates casualty numbers and there were no other sources reporting a high number of casualties.

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