Taliban attack on Kandahar police headquarters kills 19

KANDAHAR: A Taliban attack targeting Afghan National Police personnel in Kandahar left 19 dead and 49 wounded on Saturday, a statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

A group of insurgents, including suicide bombers, occupied a wedding hall close to the police headquarters and attacked it with guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Afghan security forces clashed with the militants for several hours while a series of suicide bombings shook the area, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

The attacks killed 15 Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel, two civilians, one National Directorate of Security (NDS) member and one Afghan National Army member. Additionally, 25 ANP, one NDS member, and 23 Afghan civilians, including nine children, were wounded.

"The insurgents once again demonstrated their utter disregard for the safety and well-being of the Afghan people. We join President Karzai and the Kandahar Governor in condemning this vile attack that murdered and wounded Afghan security forces and civilians, including children," Rear Admiral Vic Beck, ISAF Director of Public Affairs, said in the statement.

"Actions like these are exactly why Afghan and international groups and human rights organizations have recently spoken out condemning the Taliban for their inhumane behavior in causing civilian casualties," he added.

The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl. W. Eikenberry, condemned the "vicious attacks" which show the "brutality of terrorism."

"Our thoughts and condolences are with those affected by this act of terror. The United States remains firmly committed to working in partnership with the Afghan Government and people, as well as our international partners, to deliver security and a better future for Afghanistan," he said.

Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan, is a traditional Taliban heartland that has been hit by increasing militancy despite the large presence of foreign troops.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )

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