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Taliban launch attack wave

The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers in the country's south, east and west, and killing at least 74 people.

Among those killed in one of the attacks was a provincial police chief. Scores were also wounded, both policemen and civilians. Afghanistan's deputy interior minister, Murad Ali Murad, called the onslaught the "biggest terrorist attack this year."

Murad told a press conference in Kabul that attacks in Ghazni and Paktia provinces killed 71 people.

In southern Paktia province, 41 people — 21 policemen and 20 civilians — were killed when the Taliban targeted a police compound in the provincial capital of Gardez with two suicide car bombs. Among the wounded were 48 policemen and 110 civilians.

The provincial police chief, Toryalai Abdyani, was killed in the Paktia attack, Murad said.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement earlier Tuesday that after the two cars blew up in Gardez, five attackers with suicide belts tried to storm the compound but were killed by Afghan security forces.

Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroo said the Gardez city hospital reported receiving at least 130 wounded in the attack.

Hamza Aqmhal, a student at the Paktia University, told The Associated Press that he heard a very powerful blast that shattered glass and broke all the windows at the building he was in. The university is about 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) from the training academy, said Aqmhal, who was slightly injured by the glass.

A lawmaker from Paktia, Mujeeb Rahman Chamkani, said that along with the provincial police chief, several of his staff were killed. Most of the casualties were civilians who had come to the centre, which also serves a government passport department, Chamkani said.

In southern Ghazni province, the insurgents stormed a security compound in Andar district, using a suicide car bomb and killing 25 police and five civilians, Murad said. At least 15 people were wounded, including 10 policemen, he added.

Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor in Ghazni, said the Taliban attack there lasted nine hours. By the time the attackers were repelled, there were 13 bodies of Taliban fighters on the ground, Noori added.

And in western Farah province, police chief Abdul Maruf Fulad says the Taliban attacked a government compound in Shibkho district, killing three policemen.



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