Taliban Attacks Kill 14 in Afghanistan 04/23 06:06
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan killed 14
soldiers and policemen on Monday as Kabul residents prepared to bury their
loved ones slain in a horrific bombing by the Islamic State group that targeted
a voter registration center the day before, killing 57.
Prayer services were held for the Kabul victims as families of those killed
in Sunday's bombing carried the bodies of their kin and dug the graves at a
cemetery in the hills above the Afghan capital.
The first of Monday's near-simultaneous attacks in western Badghis province
hit army units in the district of Ab Kamari, killing nine soldiers, said Ghulam
Sarwar Haidari, the deputy provincial police chief.
Moments later, another large group of insurgents struck police in Qadis
district, killing five policemen.
Sharafuddin Majidi, spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed the
casualty tolls. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the Badghis
attacks in a statement to the media.
The attacks came on the heels of Sunday's suicide blast in Kabul. The
staggering casualty toll --- 57 dead and 119 wounded --- underscored the
struggles the government faces to rein in militant assaults even in large and
well-protected urban centers.
The explosion shook the city around 10 a.m., shattering windows miles from
the site of the attack, leaving the pavement covered with bodies and blood
stains and destroying nearby vehicles.
The bomber targeted civilians who were registering for national
identification cards, Kabul police said. The Islamic State group claimed
responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency,
saying it had targeted Shiite "apostates."
Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent a recent surge in attacks
both by the local Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly
established Taliban. The attacks increased after the United States and NATO
concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Both groups regularly carry out attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting
the government and security forces and IS targeting the country's Shiite
In violence elsewhere in Afghanistan, four policemen were killed and three
were wounded on Monday in a Taliban attack in western Farah province, in Bala
Buluk district, according to Mohammad Naser Mehri, spokesman for the provincial
Three Taliban fighters were killed and two others were wounded in the
gunbattle there that lasted two hours, Mehri said.
In eastern Nangarhar province's Chaparhar district, militants killed three
university students on Sunday, said Attaullah Khogyani, the governor's
spokesman. The three were brothers, he added.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, but Khogyani
blamed the Islamic State group, which has been active in Chaparhar and
repeatedly claimed attacks in the district.
The latest violence comes as U.S. and the Afghan troops have been conducting
counter-terrorism operations and airstrikes across Afghanistan, including in
Nangarhar, to root out IS and prevent the group from expanding its footprint in