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Taliban Storms Afghan Police Compound, Kill Five Officers

Afghan security forces inspect the aftermath of a suicide bomb blast in Paktia Province on June 18.
Afghan security forces inspect the aftermath of a suicide bomb blast in Paktia Province on June 18.

Taliban fighters stormed a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on June 18 after striking it with two suicide car bombs, killing at least five police officers, officials said.

Sardar Wali Tabasim, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Paktia Province, said another eight police officers were wounded in the attack. Tabasim said one of the attackers detonated his suicide vest inside the compound, while two others were shot dead by police, and one was still fighting.

A doctor at a nearby hospital said more than a dozen wounded civilians had been brought in for treatment. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed the attack in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia Province.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

One of the explosions was so strong it shattered windows up to 2 kilometers from the attack site, said Abdullah Hsrat, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The city of Gardez was targeted in another Taliban attack in May, when militants stormed a bank branch, killing two policemen and leaving 31 people injured.

Insurgent groups like the Taliban and Islamic State have launched a series of attacks across Afghanistan in recent weeks.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mosque in Kabul on June 15.

A massive truck bombing and later suicide attacks left hundreds dead and wounded at the end of last month and beginning of June, raising political tensions for the Afghan government, which is struggling to combat rising violence and corruption.

Thousands of international troops remain in the country to train and assist Afghan security forces as well as carry out counterterrorism missions.

American defense officials say in coming weeks they will decide whether to send between 3,000 to 5,000 more troops as requested by military commanders.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters