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Afghan Insurgents Storm Bank, Kill 10  12/17 06:18

   KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan insurgents stormed a bank in the 
country's restive southern province of Helmand on Wednesday, killing at least 
10 people, including three policemen, authorities said.

   In the attack, in the provincial capital, Lashgar Gah, five suicide bombers 
raided the city's branch of the New Kabul Bank. One of the attackers blew 
himself up at the front entrance to allow the other three in, said Omer Zawaj, 
the spokesman for the provincial governor.

   Once inside, the other attackers fired at security forces, which arrived at 
the scene and surrounded the building, Zawaj said.

   Helmand police spokesman, Fareed Obaid, said three police officers were 
among those killed.

   "There are also 15 people wounded, including six members of the Afghan 
security forces," he said, adding that the rest of the insurgents were killed 
in the gunbattle.

   Earlier, the head doctor at Lashkar Gah hospital said that more than 20 
people with gunshot wounds had been admitted. "We've also had five bodies 
brought in," said Aslan Nawaz.

   The attack came a day after members of the Pakistani Taliban attacked an 
army-run school in Peshawar, murdering more than 141 people, most of them 
students.

   The Afghan Taliban condemned the attack, saying killing innocents was 
un-Islamic. The Afghan group, however, claimed responsibility for a deadly 
attack on a French-run school in Kabul last week, in which a German aid worker 
was killed.

   In the eastern province of Nangahar, the chief police spokesman Hazrat 
Hussain Mashraqiwal said that 11 insurgents were killed in a drone strike on 
Tuesday.

   They were in a vehicle when the drone struck, he said, adding that the dead 
included two insurgent commanders.

   Afghanistan's war with the insurgents, whose leadership is based in 
Pakistan, has escalated in recent months, and angered President Ashraf Ghani 
who has vowed to bring peace to the country.


(KA)


 
 
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