JALALABAD: Government officials have confirmed that 18 people were killed and 70 others wounded on Saturday when Taliban suicide bombers attacked a bank in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.
Earlier, a statement from the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that three people were killed and 14 others wounded during the attack.
Five gunmen, wearing military uniforms and suicide vests, forced their way into the building, while two other assailants blew themselves up at the entrance, shaking the city and shattering windowpanes in nearby buildings, Governor Gul Agha Sherzai told a news conference.
He added the attackers fired at bank staff and security officials, killing 18 people, including one police officer. Most of the victims, including teachers, security officials and civilians, had come to the bank to collect salaries or withdraw cash.
"Shahid, Zara Jan and Jamal-ud-Din, three martyr-seeking Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate who were armed with heavy and small arms and explosive vests got into the Kabul Bank's military section where the agents of NDS, a local spy agency of US-NATO invaders and the puppets of the [Afghan National Army (ANA)] were waiting to get their monthly pay and engaged in bloody firefight using heavy and small machine guns and hand grenades which left several dozens of puppets and spy agents of NDS killed or wounded," a Taliban spokesperson said earlier through a statement.
The Taliban spokesperson added: "At about 2.00 p.m., Mujahideen using a remote-controlled device detonated an Auto Rickshaw stuffed with some 50 kg of explosives outside the bank which killed or wounded more than 10 puppet soldiers who had been surrounding the bank besides damaging the building."
Those wounded included the province's police chief, Qari Amir Khan Lewal. Some of the 70 injured individuals brought to the Jalalabad Civil Hospital were in critical condition, Dr. Saifur Rahman Ibrahimkhel, the hospital director, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that the president condemned the attack and added: "Once again, these [terrorists] showed they don't want the Afghan people to continue their peaceful lives."
(BNO NEWS )