Taliban attacks Afghan district compound; at least 18 killed

Adjust Comment Print

Fourteen people including a district governor were killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan's southeastern Ghazni province Thursday, the head of security for the province said.

The official also asserted that 40 militants were killed and injured in the firefight.

He said that 14 people including the governor were killed in the district itself, and that the Taliban then ambushed a relief force as it was leaving the provincial capital of Ghazni City, killing six police officers.

He said the attack began around 2 am with the Taliban storming the highly secure compound in Khuja Omari district.

Lawmaker Mohammad Arif Rahmani said the attack early today morning in Khuja Omari district killed the district governor, intelligence service director and a deputy police official.

The Taliban controls large swaths of Ghazni, a strategic province near the border with Pakistan.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid in a WhatsApp message to journalists, saying "more than 20 police" were killed and several others wounded.

The Taliban usually announce the launch of a spring offensive in April.

"Reinforcement troops arrived in the area after half an hour and took control of security in the area and conducted a clearance operation", Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

The Taliban are under pressure to take up President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks but so far they have not responded directly to the proposal.