KABUL, Afghanistan — Unarmed cops had been lining up for his or her month-to-month pay in northern Afghanistan on Sunday when a Taliban suicide bomber blew up an explosives-laden Humvee subsequent to a police compound, setting off a six-hour siege.
A minimum of seven Taliban gunmen sporting police uniforms — some armed with suicide vests — rushed by means of a gap blown open by the explosion, police officers stated. When the siege was ultimately quelled, 20 cops had been killed and 35 wounded, the officers stated. Twenty civilians had been additionally damage, based on the Inside Ministry in Kabul.
By dusk, police commanders stated they’d killed all attackers within the police headquarters in Pul-i-Kumri, the capital of Baghlan Province, about 150 miles north of Kabul. Bismullah Attash, a member of the Baghlan provincial council, stated two of the uniformed attackers drove into the compound in personal automobiles.
Abdul Qayoum Mubariz, a police officer primarily based on the headquarters, stated about 25 cops — virtually all of them unarmed — had been ready in line at a financial institution within the compound when the Humvee exploded. He stated a number of troopers had been carrying plates of meals from a eating corridor because the attackers stormed inside.
“We heard a robust explosion,” Officer Mubariz stated. “I received confused for a couple of seconds after which escaped to an workplace to cover.”
Amongst these killed was Hasibullah Amiri, commander of a 300-strong police battalion within the Baghlan district of Dahana-i-Ghori, stated Asadullah Shahbaz, one other provincial council member. Law enforcement officials and commanders journey from districts outdoors the provincial capital to gather their month-to-month pay.
Civilian workers of the police division additionally go to the headquarters to bear biometric scans for identification, Mr. Shabaz stated, and other people in search of passports go there, as nicely. An official on the native hospital, who requested to not be recognized as a result of he was not licensed to talk to reporters, stated eight ladies and 4 youngsters had been amongst these handled for accidents from the assault.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed accountability, however stated there had been 5, not eight, “closely armed martyrdom seekers.”
It was the newest in a sequence of brazen Taliban assaults on Afghan police and military compounds in latest months. Either side within the struggle, now in its 18th 12 months, have elevated operations as they search leverage in persevering with peace talks between the USA and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.
The assault in Baghlan got here after a proposal on Friday by the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, for a cease-fire in the course of the holy month of Ramadan, which begins this week. The Taliban rejected the supply.
Sunday’s incursion was significantly lethal as a result of nationwide cops are usually forbidden to hold weapons whereas off obligation, on this case leaving most of them defenseless as they waited to be paid.
“The enemy is conscious what is an efficient time to assault,” stated Bismillah Attash, a provincial council member. He added that a number of officers on obligation within the compound had been armed with pistols, however weren’t in a position to hearth successfully.
A number of earlier assaults on Afghan army bases have additionally concerned Taliban fighters wearing police or military uniforms and utilizing automobiles captured from or deserted by Afghan safety forces. The insurgents sometimes pack the automobiles with explosives and ram them into base gates or partitions.
Sunday’s incursion was just like a Taliban assault within the jap metropolis of Jalalabad in 2011, by which seven bombers in military uniforms and suicide vests killed 18 folks and wounded 70 as cops and troopers waited at a financial institution to for his or her month-to-month pay.