Taliban attack Afghan district compound, killing 6

Taliban guerrillas attacked a district headquarters in Afghanistan's Ghazni province on Thursday, killing its administrator along with at least 14 others, officials said.

Ramazan Ali Moseni, a deputy chief police in Ghazni province, has reportedly said that seven police officers and five members of the country's intelligence agency NDS were also killed in the attack.

However, officials said the Taliban set fire to the district governor's building.

The center of Khwaja Omari district is 10kms far from Ghazni City and shares a border with Jaghato district of Wardak province.

The Taliban controls large swaths of Ghazni, a strategic province near the border with Pakistan.

USA forces are stationed at Bagram.

Afghan officials often give conflicting casualty figures immediately after an attack. No one has yet taken responsibility for the bombing. Rahmani said the attackers planted mines to stop reinforcements from coming to help the government forces fend off the attack.

The total number of civilian casualties in the January-March period reached 2,258 - nearly unchanged from the same period in the past two years, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said.

The district governor Ali Dost Shams was killed in the attack along with 15 security force members and civilians.

"Afghan civilians continue to suffer, caught in the conflict, in ways that are preventable; this must stop now", said Ingrid Hayden, the United Nations secretary-general s deputy special representative for Afghanistan.

He said eight Taliban, including a notorious commander, were killed in the overnight raid.

"The attack is over and the district is under the control of Afghan security forces after reinforcement forces rushed to the scene following the Taliban attack", Mohseni added.

  • Rogelio Becker