Suicide bombers, gunmen kill 16 in central Afghanistan

Reuters , Sunday 14 Aug 2011

At least 16 people, most of them government employees, have been killed in an attack by suicide bombers and gunmen on a governor's compound in central Afghanistan

Suicide bombers and insurgent gunmen killed at least 16 people during an attack on a governor's compound in central Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, with gunbattles and blasts heard before the assault was put down.

A Reuters witness and others nearby reported hearing at least five explosions as Afghan security forces inside the compound of Parwan governor Abdul Basir Salangi fought back.

"So far we have received 16 bodies and 29 have been injured," Mohammad Asif, a doctor at the Parwan provincial hospital, told Reuters. "Most of the bodies are government employees."

Parwan lies about an hour's drive northwest of the capital, Kabul, another worrying sign of the reach of the Taliban and other insurgents.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Parwan attack.

Eight days ago, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the Taliban brought down a NATO helicopter in another central Afghan province near Kabul, killing 30 U.S. and eight Afghan troops in the worst single incident for foreign forces in 10 years of war.

Salangi said as many as six suicide bombers and insurgent gunmen attacked his compound.

"The enemies are still inside the compound. We are fighting back," Salangi earlier told private TOLO News television.

"Six suicide bombers attacked while we were holding a meeting," he said. TOLO reported that the provincial police chief was also at the meeting.

Insurgents, often from the Taliban, have launched a series of attacks against government targets over the past year, often in the east of the country near the porous border with Pakistan's largely lawless tribal lands.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said it had been asked to help Afghan forces put down the attack.

Short link: