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Attack near police base in Khost kills 5

Terrorist attacks have surged to stratospheric levels across Afghanistan, worsening anguish of the conflict and marking a failure of peace negotiations in de-escalating hostilities

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: At least five security forces were killed when a group of insurgents stormed a police special unit base in Khost province, authorities said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack involved a heavy car suicide bombing near a police base followed by a fierce gun battle that lasted around eight hours in Khost city bordering Pakistan, said spokesman to the Ministry of Interior Tareq Aryan on Tuesday.

After the car bombing, a group of attackers entered the base and engaged in a firefight with security forces, he said. The blast was heavy enough to shake the adjacent neighborhood.

In the clashes that erupted inside the base, 5 security forces were killed and 34 wounded, he said, adding that the gun battle ended after all seven assailants were gunned down by security forces.

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

Spokesman for Khost governor, Talib Mangal, said that ten attackers stormed a police special unit base in Khost province, three of whom blew up car bombs and seven others engaged in clashes with security forces. Two car suicide bombings took place during the battle. He said all the assailants were gunned down by Afghan security forces after 8 hours of fighting.

He confirmed that 5 security forces were killed and 34 others including nine civilians were wounded in the attack. He stated that the situation is under control.

This comes amid concerns raised by the United Nations about the unabated civilian casualties and Taliban violence across Afghanistan.

Violence has surged across Afghanistan in recent weeks even as the Taliban and Afghan government remain engaged in peace talks to end the country’s long-running conflict. Afghan and US officials have repeatedly warned that the rising bloodshed was threatening the peace talks being held in Qatar since last month. Most attacks by the Taliban have targeted Afghan security forces, although scores of civilians have also been killed.

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