Afghanistan: Gunmen attack Jalalabad education building

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At least 10 people have been killed and another 10 wounded in an attack at a government building of the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, local officials said. 

Armed men entered an office of the education department in the provincial capital of Nangarhar at around 9:30am (04:30GMT) on Wednesday, setting off at least two big explosions and sparking an hours-long battle with security forces.  

“So far, 10 bodies have been recovered and taken to local hospitals,” Attaullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the Nangarhar provincial governor, said in a statement. “Ten people have also been wounded.”

One security guard was among the dead, Asif Shinwari, spokesperson for the Nangarhar education department told Tolo News, a Kabul-based news website.

Teachers were delivering exam results from their schools to the office when the gunmen attacked, Shinwari told AFP news agency. 

Eyewitnesses had earlier told Tolo News that up to 50 people had been trapped inside the compound, before security forces overcame the attackers and brought the situation under control shortly after 1:00pm local time (08:00GMT). 

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the raid.





 

This is the third major attack in Jalalabad in less than two weeks following a blast that killed a group of Sikhs on July 1, and a second attack in which at least 12 people were killed on Tuesday.

Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, has been the scene of numerous attacks recently as armed rebels step up activity in the restive region.

Afghan security forces have struggled to battle the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group since the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in the country in 2014 and shifted their focus to a support and counterterrorism role.

Last year, the US pledged to increase its support to struggling Afghan forces, announcing plans for thousands of additional advisers and increasing air raids in a bid to force the Taliban to enter peace negotiations.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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