Van bomb kills eight in Afghanistan

2015-03-03 22:16


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Kandahar - A Taliban suicide attacker driving an explosives-laden van carrying goats killed eight people including five civilians in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said.

The attacker targeted a joint Afghan army and police base in the Sangin district of the volatile southern province of Helmand.

"Eight people, including five civilians, two soldiers and one policeman were killed in the attack," provincial spokesperson Omar Zhwak told AFP.

Among the civilians, a man, a woman and three children were killed, he added.

Zhwak had earlier said nine people were killed, but later lowered the death toll.

Provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil confirmed the attack and told AFP it was carried out by a van carrying goats.

"The van tried to enter the base, but detonated at the entrance after the guards stopped it," he said.

Seven soldiers and one civilian were wounded in the attack, he said.

Taliban insurgents, who are battling an Afghan army offensive launched last month in Helmand, claimed responsibility for the attack on their website.

Last month, Afghan security forces launched their first solo offensive against the Taliban in Helmand and other militant strongholds after Nato-led combat troops ended their combat mission in late December.

Helmand, a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency and a hub for drug trafficking, was the scene of repeated militant assaults during the fighting season last year.

A residual force is engaged on a training and support mission to Afghanistan's 350 000 security forces, who now lead the fight against the insurgents.

Read more on:    afghanistan

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