Insurgents storm governor's office in western Afghanistan
BY McClatchy News Service
Friday, May 18, 2012
5/18/12 at 5:41 AM
Three days ahead of a summit meeting in Chicago of NATO leaders to plot their countries' departure from Afghanistan, the Taliban on Thursday provided a stark reminder of the challenges that lie ahead.
Armed with AK-47 assault rifles, suicide explosive vests and rocket-propelled grenades, and dressed in Afghan police uniforms, a team of insurgents stormed the governor's compound in the capital of western Farah province, killing six policemen and a civilian, security officials said.
The attackers threw a hand grenade at guards at the compound gate before entering the building, said Mohammad Ghaus Malyar, Farah's deputy police chief.
The ensuing firefight lasted for 30 minutes before government security forces shot and killed the invaders, Malyar said.
Twelve people - nine civilians and three policemen - were wounded in the attack, Malyar said, but the director of Farah's hospital, Abdul Manan, put the number of injured at 15, with two of those wounded in critical condition.
A woman and a child were among the victims, Manan said.
The apparent target of the attack was Farah's newly appointed governor, Dr. Mohammad Akram Khpalwak. One attacker got close to the governor's office but was shot dead by the deputy governor, Malyar said. The governor was unharmed.
The Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive earlier this month and said it would include the targeting of government officials. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack in a statement posted on the insurgents' website.
Original Print Headline: Taliban attack governor's office