Three Afghan police killed in suicide attack on HQ


Suicide attackers armed with rifles and disguised in police uniforms Sunday stormed a traffic police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan and killed three officers, officials said.
The attack occurred in restive Khost province which borders Pakistan, and came the day after six medical students were killed and 23 others wounded when a suicide bomber struck at Kabul’s heavily-guarded main military hospital.
The early morning attack provoked a firefight that led to foreign forces stationed in Khost arriving at the scene to support Afghan troops, an AFP reporter said.
The intensity of gunfire exchanges had lessened but sporadic gunshots are still being hears and smoke is coming from the building, the reporter said.
“Three traffic police officers have been killed so far, one policeman and one civilian are wounded and the fighting is still ongoing,” said Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai, provincial police chief of Khost, noting they were suicide bombers.
Provincial public health director Hameedullah Karokhail put the toll at three dead and four wounded, of which the latter comprised three police and a civilian.
Deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Yaqub said four attackers forced their way into the building at 4:30 am (0000 GMT) while it was vacant except for the police guards and officers on duty.
Yaqub said the attackers were dressed in border police uniform and were armed with vests and AK-47 rifles.
There have been a string of recent targeted, high-profile attacks in Afghanistan by Taliban who have managed to penetrate supposedly secure official premises.
Last month, three people died when an attacker got inside the defence ministry in Kabul and the police chief of Kandahar province was killed by his bodyguard.
Afghanistan’s security forces are frequently targeted by the Taliban and other militants.
The Afghan police and army are set to take increasing responsibility for security as foreign combat troops withdraw in a process starting from July but not due to be completed until 2014.
There are currently around 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan, the bulk of them from the United States.