Dozens hurt in clash, blast at Afghan govt compound

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Afghan security forces take position during a fighting outside a government compound in the city of Lashkar Gah. — File photo: AP
Afghan security forces take position during a fighting outside a government compound in the city of Lashkar Gah. — File photo: AP

KABUL — Dozens of people were killed as security forces clashed with gunmen following a car-bomb blast at a government compound in Afghanistan’s northern province of Samangan on Monday, officials said.

The attack took place at a government facility in Samangan’s capital, Aybak, close to an office of the National Security Directorate, the main intelligence agency, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what the target of the attack was or who was behind it.

“It’s a complex attack that started with a car bomb. Clashes with the attackers are still going on,” said Mohammad Sediq Azizi, a spokesman for Samangan’s provincial government.

The province’s health director, Khalil Musadeq, said 43 civilians and members of the security forces had been wounded in the attack, with that number expected to rise and deaths expected.

The attack comes at a sensitive time as violence in the Afghanistan ramps up even as the United States tries to usher the government and the Taliban toward peace talks to end more than 18 years of war.

Meanwhile, at least 12 police and four civilians were killed during Taliban attacks in Afghanistan's two northern provinces during Sunday night, authorities said Monday, adding that 11 insurgents also died in the fightings.

In one attack, five police officers and four civilians were killed and eight people, including several civilians, were wounded after Taliban militants stormed Imam Sahib district in northern part of Kunduz province, Yousuf Ayoubi, a member of provincial council, said.

Several dozens of militants tried to overrun the district's police station and local government offices, he said.— Agencies


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