Taliban suicide bombers kill 12 Afghan police in east

A pair of Taliban suicide bombers killed 12 policemen in an attack on a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan today. The Taliban took credit for the attacks.

The suicide bombers, who were both dressed as policemen, penetrated three rings of security to carry out the attacks at a regional police headquarters in Sharana in Paktika province that also was used as a training facility. The first suicide bomber detonated his vest inside the police building, and the second detonated at the entrance to the building just minutes later as rescue operations were underway.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid immediately claimed the attack in a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s propaganda website. Muhjahid said that one of the suicide bombers, Aris, was from the neighboring province of Ghazni. Muhajid stated that 56 NATO trainers and Afghan police were killed in the attack. But the Taliban exaggerate Afghan and Coalition casualties on a daily basis, often claiming that scores of troops are killed and dozens of “tanks” are destroyed.

The Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the dangerous al Qaeda-linked subgroup that operates in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan, have attempted to overrun US and Afghan bases in the region. Since the beginning of September, six major assaults, with groups numbering between 50 and 200 Haqqani Network and allied fighters, have been launched at bases in Paktika, Paktia, and Khost provinces. A number of the attacks have included multiple suicide bombers dressed in US Army uniforms seized from convoys hijacked by Taliban fighters in Pakistan. Each attack was repelled, and in each attack the enemy incurred heavy losses.

Two of the attacks targeted Combat Outpost Margah in the Bermal district. The Haqqani Network took heavy casualties in the Oct. 30 attack; 78 members of the assault team, including foreign fighters, were killed.

Paktika, Paktia, and Khost provinces remain strongholds of the Haqqani Network despite the heavy regimen of special operations forces raids that has killed or captured scores of mid- and senior-level commanders and facilitators since the summer. Top US military commanders, including General David Petraeus, have claimed that the Haqqani Network’s leadership has been disrupted by the raids.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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