KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban suicide bombers carried out a brazen attack in the Afghan capital on Monday, the second in less than a week and a sign that insurgents are determined to keep fighting despite recent overtures of peace from the U.S. and Afghan government.
The nine-hour assault on the traffic police headquarters, which sent heavy black smoke rising over Kabul, was the second such attack in the heart of the snow-covered capital in six days.
It came a week after the Afghan and American presidents agreed that the Taliban should open a political office in the Gulf state of Qatar to facilitate possible reconciliation with the hardline Islamic group. And it occurred just days after Pakistan announced it would release more Taliban detainees to help jumpstart the fragile peace process.
The pre-dawn attack began with two Taliban suicide bombers blowing themselves up at the gates of the police headquarters. Three heavily armed militants, also wearing explosive vests, then stormed the compound, authorities said.
About 90 minutes later, a car packed with explosives blew up near the gate. Such secondary explosive devices often are rigged to timers and designed to kill people responding to the attack.
The three militants who entered the compound battled Afghan security forces for nine hours. Three policemen were killed, said Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi. Four traffic policemen and 10 civilians were wounded, he said.
Kabul Police Chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said two suicide bombers died at the gate when they detonated their explosive vests, another blew himself up inside the building and two more were shot and killed by security forces before they managed to detonate their suicide vests.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said targeted a police training facility "run by foreign military forces."
Monday, January 21, 2013
Taliban suicide bombers attack Kabul police HQ, kill 3 officers in a 9-hour battle