The Taliban militants have launched coordinated attacks on police forces in two neighboring provinces in southern Afghanistan, leaving at least 50 people dead and more than 200 others injured.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the militants with explosives-laden vehicles had initially attacked a police training center in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province in southeast Afghanistan, claiming at least 32 lives and wounding more than 200 others.
“At first a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the training center, making way for a number of attackers to start their assault,” the statement said.
Hospital officials said “women, students and police” were among the victims.
A battle is underway between the attackers, armed with guns and vests, and security forces inside the center located near the Paktia police headquarters, the ministry added.
“At the moment the area is sealed by the Crisis Response Unit and efforts are ongoing to eliminate the terrorists,” the statement noted.
Separately in the southern Ghazni Province, the militants attacked a police station and a checkpoint in the center of Andar District, leaving 15 policemen dead and 12 others injured, according to provincial authorities.
Elsewhere in western Afghanistan, Farah Province’s police chief Abdul Maruf Fulad said the Taliban had attacked a government compound in Shibkho district and killed at least three security forces.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for all the assaults.
The militants have warned that there will be no let-up in their attacks until foreign forces fully withdraw from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is still suffering from insecurity and violence years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but militancy continues to this day.
Taking advantage of the chaos, the Takfiri Daesh terror group has also emerged in eastern Afghanistan.