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Militants Storm Afghanistan’s National Broadcaster


Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an attack in Jalalabad city, eastern Afghanistan May 17, 2017.

A group of at least four Islamic State militants, including suicide bombers, stormed an office of Afghanistan’s state broadcaster in eastern Nangarhar province Wednesday, killing at least six people and wounding up to 20 others.

Provincial officials and hospital sources said four employees of the national Radio Television Afghanistan, or RTA, and at least two security personnel were among the dead.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the violence as an "attack on free speech."

The assault in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, began with suicide bombers blowing themselves up and making way for others to enter the facility.

The raid set off fierce clashes with Afghan security forces. The firefight left the assailants dead, ending a nearly four-hour siege.

IS through its global media outlet, Amaq News Agency, claimed the suicide raid killed 30 security personnel and media men, though the group often issues inflated tolls after such attacks.

Loyalists of the Syria-based terrorist group are operating in several districts of Nangarhar, with Achin as their stronghold. They regularly stage attacks on Afghan and U.S. forces that are conducting major operations to eliminate IS from the volatile province, which borders Pakistan.

The Taliban insurgency is also active in parts of Nangarhar.