Taliban kill 13 in Nangarhar suicide attack

The Taliban have claimed credit for today’s deadly suicide car bombing that targeted police recruits outside of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. Thirteen policemen and civilians were reported killed in the attack. From The News:

“Unfortunately, 13 people have been killed and 20 others injured in a suicide attack that targeted a police minivan today,” said provincial spokesman Abdul Zia Ahmadzai.

The attack happened at around 4:45 pm (1215 GMT) in the eastern province of Nangarhar, just outside the city of Jalalabad and a few kilometres from Jalalabad airport.

The suicide bomber is thought to have rammed his explosive-laden car into the bus carrying police.

The attack was claimed by the Taliban. Its spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said: “One of our mujahedeen carried out a martyrdom attack on a bus carrying police trainers in Nangarhar province today.

The Taliban have stepped up attacks in the east. Today’s suicide bombing is the third major Taliban attack in Jalalabad since the end of February. On Feb. 19, the Taliban attacked a bank in the provincial capital, killing 42 people. And on April 6, a Taliban assault team estimated at about 25 men strong attacked Forward Operating Base Fenty; seven Taliban fighters were killed in the failed attack.

The Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Lashkar-e-Islam operate in Nangarhar. Attacks in Nangarhar are directed by the Taliban’s Peshawar Regional Military Shura, one of the Taliban’s four major commands. The presence of al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba cells has been detected in the districts of Achin, Bati Kowt, Behsud, Chaparhar, Dara Noor, Deh Bala, Jalalabad, Khogyani, Pachir wa Agam, Sherzad, and Shinwar, or 11 of Nangarhar’s 22 districts.

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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