Afghanistan rocked by deadly attacks after United States airstrike kills Taliban leaders

Glen Norman
May 31, 2018

Several militants dressed in US military uniforms opened fire outside the Afghan Interior Ministry on Wednesday, before being fatally shot by security forces, the top USA commander in the country said.

The insurgents also said they carried out another attack on a police station, in the capital of Logar province. Afghan officials said a suicide bomber struck outside the ministry, allowing gunmen to pass through an outer gate where they traded fire with security forces, who eventually killed the attackers.

Shahpoor Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said three attackers who sought to enter the police station in the early morning hours triggered a three-hour gunbattle that ended when all three were killed.

Three attackers, wearing military uniforms, detonated explosives while the others were shot by government troops, officials said.

Five people were injured in the attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan and was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Nicholson said that by wearing US military uniforms, militants were trying to confuse security forces and delay their response to the attack. "The attackers were not able to enter the ministry".

Later Wednesday, the American commander of USA and coalition forces in Afghanistan cast doubt the attack was the work of IS, saying instead there are indications the Taliban-allied Haqqani network was behind it. A suicide vehicle bomb was set off at the gates before three gunmen in suicide vests stormed the compound.

The nomination, which will elevate Gen. Miller to a four-star general, has been made amid a brutal spate of Taliban terrorist attacks and high-profile USA military operations that have bloodied both sides during this year's fighting season.

In the meantime, a police official said on condition of anonymity "that three policemen including PD1 police chief and three traffic police were killed in the attack and five civilians were wounded".

Violence has sharply increased in recent weeks since the Taliban, which leads the insurgency against the Afghan government and USA -led troops, announced its annual spring offensive.

The militants were also threatening to overrun parts of Takhar province in the country's north this week, claiming to have seized arms and equipment after seizing police checkpoints in the besieged Kwajah Ghar and Dasht-e Qalah districts along the Tajikistan border.

Afghan officials have said recently that their forces were battling militants in at least half of the country's 34 provinces and that at least seven provincial capitals were under threat.

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