News / Asia

    Taliban Militants Storm Police Station in Eastern Afghanistan

    Afghan security forces run after a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, March 20, 2014.
    Afghan security forces run after a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, March 20, 2014.
    Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen stormed a police station early Thursday morning in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing at least 11 people, including 10 policemen, and wounding about 20 others.

    It was shortly after dawn when a group of Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers swarmed around the police station in Jalalabad. Authorities said seven suicide bombers coordinated to blow open a path into the building, then detonated their explosives once inside.

    • An Afghan army soldier inspects bullet proof vests found after Taliban insurgents staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • Afghan residents leave the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • Afghan security forces run in the aftermath of a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • Afghan army and police surround the area after a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad,  Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • Afghan army and police search a police station after the Taliban staged a multi-pronged attack on a police station in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • An Afghan man looks out a window at the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.
    • Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers leave the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad province, Afghanistan, March 20, 2014.

    General Ayub Salangi, Afghanistan’s deputy minister for security in the Interior Ministry, said most of those killed were police. He said the enemy arrived at the police zone gate at 5 a.m. local time, with a vehicle full of explosives. Once they had opened a way in, hand-to-hand fighting started, then suicide bombers detonated their explosive-filled jackets inside the compound.
     
    Salangi said Jalalabad police chief Aminullah Khan was killed in the assault.

    Jalalabad, AfghanistanJalalabad, Afghanistan
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    Jalalabad, Afghanistan
    Jalalabad, Afghanistan
    The ministry said gun battles between security forces and the militants lasted hours after the initial attack, as victims were being rushed to local hospitals. The blasts also damaged the nearby state-owned RTA-TV building and shops.
     
    A Taliban spokesman later claimed credit in an email to journalists for the strike.
     
    The Jalalabad attack is the latest in a series of Taliban strikes around the country this year, targeting Afghan army, police, and international workers.
     
    The militant group has vowed to attack anyone involved in the upcoming April 5 presidential election, adding to the feeling of insecurity in the country.
     
    This attack comes just two days after another suicide bombing in Faryab in the north, near a security checkpoint at a local market. That blast killed more than 15 people and left scores wounded.
     
    The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday said it was seriously concerned at the threats posed by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other illegal armed groups in Afghanistan.
     
    Javid Faisal, campaign spokesman for one of the front runner candidates, Zalmai Rasoul, said Thursday’s attack was part of a tactic by “specific groups” to disrupt the voting process.
     
    “They have been trying to intimidate people and make sure that those people are not participating in the election. But we hope the people of Afghanistan will come out to vote for their candidate on the day of the election.”
     
    Analysts say despite the attacks, overall security in the country is better than it was during the last presidential ballot in 2009.
     
    But Ahmad Sear Mahjoor, an expert and author of Afghan socio-political development, said he believes violence is not the biggest problem in the upcoming election. “In my opinion, I am most uneasy over the question of fraud and question of legitimacy of this election, where already you have certain parties accusing each other and the government of interfering in this election,” he said.
     
    Without credible elections, Mahjoor warned, the country could plunge into further instability.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Allen elliott from: America
    March 20, 2014 1:15 PM
    They go deeper and deeper into reprobate minds as shown in Romans 1

    by: ali baba from: new york
    March 20, 2014 8:18 AM
    killing is a fun in afghisstan.,bacha bazia is a fun too. trillion dollar from Spent in Afghanistan is not fun for budget .
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    March 20, 2014 9:42 PM
    in reply to Chris. You are deadly wrong .US went to Afghisstan because they gave save heaven to terrorist organization. United state spend a lot of money .United State send to them food because they are starving. United State give them a lot of help and what is afghisstan people give us . they killed one thousand American solider in a cool blooded murders. If Us use drone ,.it has the right to protect our solider from these Muslim fanatic whom their behavior is disgusting. . they are sexually abuse the boys because that their barbaric traditional . United State action is right .united state action is good and appropriate to deal with stone age Islamic psychopath
    In Response

    by: chris burleigh from: omaha
    March 20, 2014 7:18 PM
    Clearly we are losing this one very badly. We must be doing something wrong. Fair enough? In my opinion using drones to blow up funeral processions, wedding partys, and Afghan soldiers is a large part of the problem. And of course, having a fool as commander in chief also. Signature strikes are obviously criminal. The very word used to describe them acknowledges that the killers do not know who they are killing.

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