Kabul : Four suicide bombers equipped with automatic rifles attacked a provincial council office in southern Afghanistan Wednesday, killing one policeman and seven civilians, an interior ministry spokesman said.
On Wednesday morning, one attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle in front of the provincial council office in southern Kandahar city, the capital of Kandahar province. A policeman guarding the compound died, ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.
“Three bombers went inside the building and opened fire on civilians inside the compound, killing seven of them,” he said, adding that police 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.
Sixteen other people including police and civilians were wounded in the brazen attack, Abdullah Fahim, a health ministry spokesperson, said.
Members of the provincial council were holding a meeting with local elders when the attack took place, but according to Bashary, there were no casualties among the local lawmakers.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s younger brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, is the head of 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 the southern province of Helmand, an interior ministry statement said.
Afghan police backed by NATO-led troops targeted the militants in several villages of Kajaki district on Tuesday, leaving 20 other militants wounded, the statement said.
The operation happened the same day as 30 other militants were killed and 17 wounded in a separate operation in the neighbouring province of Uruzgan. Four Afghan police personnel were also wounded in the operation.
The country’s southern region is the main hub for the Taliban-led insurgency.
On Monday, a suicide bombing in Kandahar’s Dand district killed nine including five policemen when the bomber detonated his explosives inside the district headquarters.
Taliban militants are most active in Kandahar, which once was the birth place of the Taliban movement and the main headquarters for the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.