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Afghanistan Taliban ‘suicide attack’ kills dozens


Afghanistan Taliban 'suicide attack' kills dozens

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Smoke rises from the police headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia province

Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen have stormed a police training centre in the eastern Afghan city of Gardez, killing at least 33 people, officials say.

Another 160 were injured in the assault. The Interior Ministry said the local police chief is among the dead.

"At first a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the training centre, making way for a number of attackers to start their assault," a spokesperson said.

Casualty numbers are expected to rise.

Officials say at least six attackers were killed by security forces in the fighting, which went on for several hours.

The victims include "women, students and police", Gardez public health director Hedayatullah Hamidi told AFP news agency.

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The compound at Gardez in Paktia province contains the headquarters of the national police, border police, and Afghan National Army.

The Taliban said it was behind the attack.

The assault comes just days after police in the capital, Kabul, said they had arrested a would-be suicide truck bomber, averting a major attack.

The truck was carrying almost three tonnes of explosives and two bombs, which had been hidden under boxes of tomatoes.

A truck bomb killed more than 150 people in Kabul in May.

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