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Three Dead, Several Wounded In Attack On Afghan Police Base

Afghan security forces were engaged in a gun battle with the attackers as they attempted to enter the base compound in Khost on October 27.

A car bomb attack on an Afghan police base and an ongoing gun battle have killed three people and wounded dozens in a city bordering Pakistan, officials said October 27.

The complex attack in Khost, the capital of the eastern province of Khost, was launched early in the morning.

Habib Shah Ansari, provincial health director in Khost said that so far three bodies and at least 33 wounded, both military and civilian, had been brought to a hospital.

The car bomb was detonated at the gate of a special police force's base in Khost city, a security source said.

A group of attackers then attempted to enter the base compound resulting in a gun battle with security forces, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told reporters.

Four attackers have been killed while two more were still fighting, Arian said.

Khost provincial health official Gul Mohammad said women and children were among the wounded.

No group has so far claimed the attack on the base.

The attack comes as the Afghan government continues to fight Taliban militants even as peace talks in Qatar between the two sides take place.

It also comes as the United Nations released a report showing a decrease in civilian casualties in the country compared to last year.

In its third-quarter report, the United Nations Assistance Mission In Afghanistan (UNAMA) said there has been a 30 percent decrease in civilian casualties compared with the same period last year.

While noting that "the conflict in Afghanistan remains one of the deadliest in the world for civilians," UNAMA said the first nine months of this year caused the lowest number of civilian victims -- 5,939 -- since 2012.

The number included 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded.

The report said that in the time span from September 12 -- the start of the negotiations between the government and the Taliban in Qatar -- to September 30, there was no reduction in civilian casualties caused by parties involved in the talks in comparison with the previous weeks.

UNAMA said more than four out of every 10 civilian casualties were children or women, and that insurgents remain responsible for the majority of civilian casualties.

Afghan security forces were responsible for almost a quarter of all civilian casualties -- a similar percentage to that recorded in the first nine months of 2019.

The developments came amid a surge in violence. Afghanistan claimed on October 25 that it had killed a top Al-Qaeda militant on an FBI most-wanted list during an operation in the country's east.

The reported death of Husam Abd al-Rauf, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Muhsin al-Masri, follows weeks of violence, including a suicide bombing by the Islamic State militant group on October 24 at an educational center near Kabul that killed 24 people.

With reporting by AFP and AP
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