A Taliban suicide assault team attacked an Afghan police training facility in the east today, killing three policemen and wounding five more. The Taliban have carried out six suicide attacks in Afghanistan over the past two days.
A four-man suicide assault team struck at the gate outside the Afghan National Security Forces training site in Jaji district in Paktia province earlier today. The four suicide bombers were “dressed in traditional Afghan clothing with head wraps covering their faces,” according to an International Security Assistance Force Press release.
One suicide bomber detonated his vest, killing the three policemen, according to TOLOnews. Afghan guards shot and killed a second suicide bomber, and the two other bombers fled the scene.
The Taliban, in a statement released on their propaganda website, Voice of Jihad, claimed the attack. The Taliban said that two suicide bombers, named Yahiya and Ahmadullah, detonated their vests at the compound 30 minutes apart, killing 23 policemen. The Taliban often inflate casualties in their press releases.
Today’s attack was likely carried out by the Haqqani Network, the dangerous al Qaeda-linked subgroup that operates in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan. The Haqqani Network runs the Taliban’s shadow governments in Paktika, Paktia, and Khost provinces. The shadow governments organize and direct attacks against Afghan and ISAF forces, raise funds for the Taliban’s operations, and administer the Taliban’s local government.
Al Qaeda also maintains a presence in Paktia province, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal. US military press releases document the presence of al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad Union cells in the districts of Gardez, Jani Khel, Zadran, and Zurmat; or four of Paktia’s 11 districts.
Suicide attacks in Afghanistan spike
The Taliban also carried out two other suicide attacks today. Three people were wounded in an attack outside a government building in Kabul, and another was wounded in an attack that targeted police in Kandahar.
The Taliban claimed credit for both attacks, again claiming massive casualties. In statements released at Voice of Jihad, the Taliban said that six “invaders” were killed in Kandahar by a suicide bomber named Noorullah, and that 35 “local minions” were killed in Kabul by a suicide bomber named Zubair.
Three other suicide attacks took place in Afghanistan yesterday. The largest attack occurred in Kunar province, when a suicide bomber killed an influential pro-government tribal leader and warlord, along with nine other Afghans. In addition, 13 Afghans were wounded yesterday in suicide attacks in Kandahar and Kapisa.
The Taliban are conducting a campaign of suicide attacks and assassinations as part of their “spring offensive” against ISAF and Afghan forces and the Afghan government.