Δευτέρα, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2009

Afghan bomber kills 21 policemen


A suicide bomb attacker in police uniform has blown himself up inside a police station in Afghanistan, killing at least 21 officers, police said.

Many others were wounded in the attack in Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province in the south of the country.

The explosion, which has been described as "very powerful", has also damaged several buildings, police said.

Southern Afghanistan is the centre of the Taleban-led insurgency since the US invasion of the country in 2001.

"As a result of the suicide attack on a police unit... 21 police were martyred and eight more wounded," the interior ministry said in a statement.

About 10 other policemen were wounded but released from hospital after being treated, said Juma Gul Himat, the Uruzgan provincial police chief.

He said the bomber had entered the police compound as a group of reservists was training and detonated explosives strapped to his body under his uniform.

A Taleban spokesman said his group had carried out the attack.

Officials say the attack is the worst on the police in recent months in Afghanistan.

Afghan police and soldiers, as well as foreign troops belonging to the Nato-led International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf), are frequent targets of Taleban attacks.

Southern Afghanistan is the main battlefront between the insurgents and the Afghan and foreign forces.

Uruzgan province is not as violent as Kandahar or Helmand provinces, says the BBC's Ian Pannell in Kabul, but the number of attacks there has been growing.

Separately, a spokesman for the Afghan National Army told the BBC that its soldiers had arrested three men wearing suicide vests in the Dirawoad district, neighbouring Tirin Kot.

BBC

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