KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Three people were killed and 30 others injured on Saturday when gunmen stormed New Kabul Bank's branch in eastern Paktia province, according to provincial officials.
Gen. Toryalai Abdyani, the province's police chief, said five militants attacked the bank; first a suicide bomber carried out an attack, then four gunmen started shooting and were later killed by security forces.
"All four gunmen were shot and killed by security forces while people were evacuated to a safe place," Andyani added.
Two of the bank's security guards were killed in the initial suicide attack in Gardez, the province's capital of, said Abdullah Hsrat, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Paktia. "Unfortunately the bank is located in the main market inside the city, that is why a number of shops and the bank building were damaged," said Hsrat.
A doctor at the provincial hospital in Gardez, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief media, said that three killed and at least 30 wounded were brought to the hospital by ambulances. Most of the wounded are civilians and a number of them are in critical condition, he added.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban insurgents have recently increased their attacks against Afghan security forces across the country.
Elsewhere late Friday, Taliban militants attacked a district headquarters in neighboring Ghazni province, said Gen. Aminullah Amarkhail, the province's police chief.
In similar fashion, the attack in Waghaz district was kicked off with a suicide car bomb followed by Taliban gunmen charging from different directions. Afghan security forces fend them off, and the Taliban retreated after several hours of fighting.
Amarkhail confirmed that two police officers and around 20 Taliban fighters were killed in the battle and dozens of other Taliban were wounded in the clashes that lasted till the early hours of Saturday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Ghazni province in a statement sent to reporters.