International News

Afghan district governor among fifteen killed in Taliban attack

Taliban militants launched a pre-dawn raid on a district government compound in Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least fifteen people, including the local governor, officials said.
Six police also died and nine intelligence officers were wounded in the attack on the Khwaja Omari district headquarters in the southeastern province of Ghazni, provincial governor spokesperson Aref Noori told AFP.
The militants used a ladder to climb into the compound in the early hours of Thursday, deputy provincial police chief Ramazan Ali Mohsini told AFP.
Mohsini put the death toll at 13, including the governor, police and intelligence officers, adding scores of Taliban fighters were also killed but that could not be immediately confirmed.
“The attack is over and the district is under the control of Afghan security forces after reinforcement forces rushed to the scene following the Taliban attack,” Mohsini added.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid in a WhatsApp message to journalists, saying “more than 20 police” were killed and several others wounded.
The attack was one of the deadliest by the Taliban in several weeks and comes as the militants prepare to launch their annual spring offensive, which marks the beginning of the traditional fighting season.
The Taliban is under pressure to take up President Ashraf Ghani´s offer of peace talks but so far the group has not responded directly to the proposal.