Taliban launch attack in Afghanistan’s Paktia

Suicide attack on local government headquarters leaves 12 dead, as Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as new president.

map paktia province haqqani

A group of Taliban suicide bombers has attacked a local government headquarters in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province, killing 12 people, as the country’s new president was preparing to be sworn in.

A fighter detonated a explosives laden vehicle at the entrance of a district headquarters in Paktia’s Zurmat district on Monday, leading to a heavy exchange of gunfire between the Taliban and security officials which resulted in three of the other fighters being killed.

At least eight other people, including four police officers, two intelligence staff and two civilians were killed in the attack, police said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said Afghan security officals have faced a resurgent Taliban, with an average of 18 Afghans killed every day this year.

Also on Monday, a suicide attack by the Taliban killed four civilians and injured two others near Kabul’s airport, despite much of the city being under a security lockdown.

And in the northern city of Kunduz, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the toilet of an animal market killing himself and injuring two others.

The attacks took place as Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the head of a unity government following a deal last week to share powers with his election rival Abdullah Abdullah.

Source: Al Jazeera