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Afghan Forces Battle Taliban After Kandahar Attack


Afghan security forces and Taliban militants continued battling Wednesday in Kandahar, as the military tried to end an insurgent assault on a military housing bloc near the southern city's airport.

At least nine people have been killed in the attack that began Tuesday as Taliban suicide bombers hit the complex and then took up positions in a nearby school building.

Regional corps commander General Daud Shah Wafadar told VOA he believes he was the target of the attack.

"I was going back to my residence from work when I came under attack but I escaped unhurt," the general said.

The Taliban sent a statement to VOA claiming its suicide bombers inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan security forces, killing and wounding dozens of them. But the Taliban is known to exaggerate the numbers in such attacks.

Violence in Herat

Meanwhile, Afghan officials reported Tuesday that fighting between rival Taliban factions left dozens of people dead and many more wounded in the western city of Herat, where a newly formed breakaway Taliban faction is headquartered.

There have been reports the mainstream insurgents are prepared to mount an assault on the dissident group for refusing to pledge allegiance to its new chief, Mullah Mansour Akhtar.

Mansour took over the Taliban in July when it confirmed the death of its founder Mullah Omar.

Some key Taliban members opposed Omar's successor, saying they would form their own faction.