Taliban suicide assault hits NDS HQ in Wardak

The Taliban have claimed credit for today’s suicide attack that targeted the headquarters for the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence service, in Maidan Shar, the capital of Wardak province. Four NDS personnel and six members of the Taliban assault team are said to have been killed; more than 100 civilians were wounded in the primary blast.

The attack began like nearly every other suicide assault by the Taliban: with a car bomb that is detonated outside of a main gate or wall so the rest of the team can enter the compound. From TOLOnews:

The incident occurred when a group of six insurgents equipped with weapons and explosives attacked the NDS building in Maidan Shahr city, capital of the Maidan Wardak province, at around midday. The assailants attempted to force their way into the building unsuccessfully.

“A group of attackers wanted to get in NDS building at noon, but faced resistance from security forces and a clash occurred. As a result the attackers were all killed and many civilians were injured,” said Mohammad Sardar Zazai, the Wardak Police Chief.

The first attacker was said to have detonated his explosives while still in a car near the front gate of the building, killing himself and blasting a whole in the gate. Five of his fellow attacks entered the compound and began firing indiscriminately at security forces. However, security forces stationed at the building and those who arrived on the scene subsequent to the beginning of the attack were able kill the remaining assailants after a gun battle that lasted for 30 minutes.

Most of the injured are reportedly in critical condition receiving emergency care are nearby hospitals that have been overwhelmed since the attack. Several governmental and non-governmental buildings, including private residences, suffered major structural damage.

The Taliban claimed credit for today’s attack, in a statement released on Voice of Jihad. The group claimed that “tens of enemy personnel were killed” and that the headquarters were destroyed:

The recent news reports from Wardak province indicate that four martyrdom-seeking Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate following an enormous blast by a Mujahid that razed the intelligence headquarter to the ground using a huge truck loaded with explosives, got into the compound of the PRT and the department of recruitment and retention and other government buildings and kept the enemy installations under target where the four brave Mujahideen combatants fought the enemy for about one and a half hour.

The attack comes as the representatives from the US terrorists and the puppets from all the districts of Wardak province gathered in PRT facility for a meeting.

Tens of enemy personnel were killed and wounded in Sunday’s martyrdom operation, while more than 30 tanks and vehicles belonging to the participant of the meeting were destroyed in the attacks followed by a fight by four martyr attackers.

The intelligence department is said to have fully been destroyed, where the other enemy installations were heavily damaged in today’s successful operation coming amid Operation Khalid bin-e-Waleed [the name of this year’s spring offensive].

The Taliban have now launched six major suicide attacks in Afghanistan since Aug. 26 [see LWJ report, Taliban suicide team hits base at border crossing with Pakistan, for more details on the other attacks]. The attacks have not been concentrated in one region; they have taken place throughout Afghanistan. The suicide bombings and assaults have occurred in Nangarhar (east), Ghazni (southeast), Helmand (south), Kapisa and Wardak (central), and Kunduz (north). Additionally, Taliban forces executed a major ambush along the Ring Road in Farah (west) during the same time period.

While US and NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban continue to send the message that their operations will not cease.

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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