Taliban attack Afghan security compound, scores killed

An Afghan security officer secures the area of a collapsed building of Afghanistan's intelligence office in Wardak province Monday. Photo by Jawad Jalali/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) — A suicide bomber attacked an Afghan intelligence training facility in the Wardak province Monday, killing dozens of people, security officials said.

The bomber used a Humvee to ram into the compound run by the country’s national intelligence agency, causing an explosion, The Washington Post reported. After the explosion, gunmen entered the compound, where they were killed by security forces.

Death toll figures from the attack vary.

A senior official with Afghan’s National Directorate of Security told The Guardian at least 50 people died or sustained injuries. Another official from the Afghan public health ministry said the total people killed and injured could be about 140 people.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which followed another incident Sunday in which a suicide bomber used the same tactics to disrupt a government convoy in Logar. The provincial governor survived the attack, but eight of his bodyguards died.

Taliban attacks have increased while leaders participate in peace talks supported by the United States. Some Afghan officials said the attacks are a tactic to get leverage in the discussions aimed at ending the 17-year war.

Hussein Ali Baligh, a member of the local provincial council, expressed concern over how an explosives-laden Humvee can pass enough checkpoints to reach the guarded facility. He said the vehicle appeared to have once belonged to the Afghan government.

“It shows the weakness of our forces,” Ali Baligh said. “Our forces are brave, but their commanders have weaknesses.”



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