Suicide bombers storm government offices in Afghan south

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2011 5:58 AM
Suicide bombers storm government offices in Afghan south

KABUL (Reuters) - Suicide bombers armed with guns attacked at least two government buildings in the capital of Afghanistan's volatile southern Uruzgan province on Thursday, a government official said, but there were no reports of any casualties.

Up to six suicide bombers had stormed the provincial governor's compound and the police chief's compound in Tirin Kot, capital of Uruzgan, a province to the north of Kandahar, Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, said.

Three bombers had already detonated their explosives and police were engaged in a gun battle with the remaining attackers, Sediqi said, adding the only casualties reported so far were the three bombers.

Earlier, Engineer Farid, head of the regional state television channel, Uruzgan TV, said one explosion had happened inside the channel's offices but did not know if there were any casualties.

The attacks come only a day after a suicide bomber killed the mayor of Kandahar city, the latest in a string of assassinations of high-profile government figures and allies of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

On July 17, gunmen killed a former governor of Uruzgan and close adviser of Karzai in his home in the Afghan capital Kabul. A lawmaker from the same province who was visiting Jan Mohammad Khan, was also killed in the attack.

That attack came only days after the killing of Ahmad Wali Karzai, a half-brother of the president and one of the most powerful and controversial men in southern Afghanistan.

The killings have left a power vacuum in the south of the country that could weaken the president's hold on an area that has long been a Taliban stronghold.

(Reporting by Ismail Sameem; Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Sugita Katyal)