Roundup: Numerous Taliban attacks in Afghanistan

- One of the attacks was supposed to be a repeat of the Peshawar school massacre that claimed 144 lives.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - Three suicide bombers wearing explosive vests and carrying ammunition stormed a police academy on Wednesday morning in the southeastern Khost province, Afghan authorities said.

A huge explosion preceded the attack, according to security sources, which was planned to be a repeat of the Peshawar school massacre, a brutal mass shooting in an army-run school in Peshawar on Dec. 16 that killed 144 people, mostly children.  

“The attack was launched after a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at the gate of the Khost police academy. The rest of the assailants pushed forward, throwing hand grenades. Security forces gunned down the insurgents after an hour of fighting,” provincial police chief Faizullah Ghairat told The Anadolu Agency.

A police officer was killed and three others were injured. The attackers were reportedly identified as Pakistani nationals.  

Khost, a bordering province with Pakistan, is consıdered as a base for the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.  

Taliban insurgents, who routinely fight against NATO-led international and Afghan forces, claimed responsibility for the attack.

In another development, the CEO of a local firm and five members of his staff were killed after armed militants ambushed their vehicles in the northern Baghlan province early Wednesday morning, senior provincial officials said.

“Six people were killed and another injured when two vehicles of a road construction company were attacked (…) in Charshanba Tipa of Baghlan province at 7:00 am local time on Wednesday,” provincial police chief Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel said.

Two others were taken away by militants and a search operation has been carried out by local police to locate the missing staff.

The purported Taliban insurgent group spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibilıty for the attack, saying the Taliban militants had ambushed a convoy of security forces in Baghlan.

Non-military organizations and construction companies have continuously been targeted during the seemingly endless insurgency in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of local and international staff of construction companies have been killed or kidnapped by militants in the recent years.

Earlier on Wednesday, a senior judge was killed while two of his children were injured after a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in Afghanistan`s Nangarhar province, some 150 km east of Kabul.  

After NATO-led international security service members and Afghan troops, judges and prosecutors have been the main targets of Taliban insurgents in recent years.

In addition, a child was killed and 11 others were injured on Wednesday following the blast of an improvised explosive device in the restive southern province of Kandahar.

According to local officials, the bomb went off as children were playing with it. The wounded children were taken to a nearby provincial hospital.

Furthermore, a blast from another improvised explosive device killed three army troops in Afghanistan, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi.  

Hours earlier on Wednesday, Afghan intelligence service members, foiling a terrorist attack in the capital Kabul, arrested a suicide bomber and his accomplice.

“Intelligence service members, during a special operation on Wednesday, have arrested a Haqqani terrorist network-linked suicide bombing coordinator and a suicide bomber before they reached their target in the capital Kabul,” said a statement released by the intelligence department.

The Taliban have intensified attacks over the past couple of months as Afghan forces have taken on the full responsibility of security in the country from NATO-led troops earlier this month.

From Jan. 1, 2015, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s mission has evolved into training and advising the nascent Afghan security forces. The 13,000 foreign troops for the Resolute Support Mission come from 28 NATO allies and 14 other partner nations.

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