Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wire: Suicide Bombers, Insurgents Attack Govt Buildings, Take Hostages in Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 -- Newswires reported this morning that teams of suicide bombers and insurgents attacked two government buildings in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, sparking running gun battles in a major Afghan city, officials said.

Armed insurgents took government workers hostage and ambushed an American quick-reaction force, wounding one U.S. soldier.

At least four security forces, two civilians and an unknown number of militants were killed in the attack, which began around 10 a.m. and raged for hours, a doctor said. But officials cited mass confusion over the multi-pronged attack in Khost city, and a doctor said bodies lay in the street that medical workers couldn't reach because of the fighting, the Associated Press reported.

The attack began when a suicide car bomb exploded outside the Khost governor's compound, the Interior Ministry said.

AP noted the following details:
Then a team of suicide bombers on foot tried to attack the nearby police headquarters, but were rebuffed by security forces and entered the neighboring municipality building, said Gen. Abdul Qayum Bakizoy, the police chief. Three bombers detonated their explosives, the Interior Ministry said, while other militants took city employees hostage, Bakizoy said.

A U.S. spokesman summed up the chaos: "A lot of stuff is going on right now."
AP also reported that militants in recent months have carried out an increasing number of multi-pronged attacks that involved several attackers and multiple suicide bombers. Military analysts have said the increasing sophistication of attacks in Afghanistan is a result of training by Pakistani militants and al-Qaida fighters.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Hostages held in attack on Afghan govt building

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