AT-KABUL: Taliban coordinated attack on an Afghan court complex in northern Afghanistan ended after seven hours firefight, where at least 16 people, including five police officers, were killed and more than 65 others were injured on Thursday, provincial officials said.
The incident took place in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the capital of northern Balkh province at around 11:00 am, when four suicide bombers equipped with automatic guns and hand grenades first shot dead the guard in entrance and then forced their way inside the compound that housing both appellate court and prosecution office.
“All insurgents were killed after nearly seven hours of gunfight that also left five police officers dead” provincial police security chief, Abdul Raziq, told Afghanistan Times. The insurgents were dressed in military uniform he said.
Several visitors and employees of the two judiciary organs were present during the attack in the compound, where most of them were rescued by Afghan security forces in first hours of the attack.
In same time hospital sources told Afghanistan Times that they have received 16 dead bodies and more than 65 people injured some of them in critical health condition. “Women and children are among dead and wounded persons” Muhammad Faiz, a senior doctor in Balkh provincial hospital told Afghanistan Times.
Taliban in a statement said that attack was launched by their fighters in respond to irresponsible decisions made by Afghan judiciary organs against Taliban prisoners. “This attack will not be the last one against corrupted judiciary organs, if they continue their injustice toward our prisoners” a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement. (By Afghanistan Times correspondent)