At least 15 dead in Taliban attack on 'safe' district in Afghanistan

World       by Mahmood Idrees | Published

Six police also died and 10 intelligence officers were wounded in the attack on the Khwaja Omari district headquarters in the southeastern province of Ghazni, the provincial governor's spokesman Aref Noori told AFP.

"Afghan civilians continue to suffer, caught in the conflict, in ways that are preventable; this must stop now", said Ingrid Hayden, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

His claim could not be independently confirmed and the government did not immediately respond to it.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the rebels overran Khwaja Omari and killed several security officials, including the district chief.

Shaker said that a number of officials were killed after a Public Order Police vehicle stepped on a roadside mine.

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Ground engagements between militants and security forces accounted for 30 percent of civilian casualties in the January to March period. The Taleban planted mines to prevent government reinforcements from coming to help and quickly took responsibility for the attack.

Rahmani said the district is very close to the provincial capital, Ghazni city.

After a brief lull in its activities, the Taliban armed group stormed a government building in central Afghanistan early on Thursday, killing 15 people including three top local officials. He said Taliban fighters had killed about 20 Afghan security force members. Nine other security personnel were also wounded.

Ten police were killed and four wounded in the Shindad district, where fighting with the militants lasted for hours, Shukrullah Shaker, the district governor, said on April 13.

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