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Suicide attackers target Afghan police

Three suicide bombers launched a coordinated assault on a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan overnight, damaging the compound and sparking a gun battle, officials said today.

world Updated: May 17, 2010 12:32 IST

Three suicide bombers launched a coordinated assault on a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan overnight, damaging the compound and sparking a gun battle, officials said Monday.

"The first suicide attacker detonated a motorcycle rigged into a bomb outside the border police compound in Kandahar city, destroying the outer wall of the compound," said senior police official Mohammad Ashraf Gharzai.

"Two other suicide attackers then ran into the compound after the blast and opened fire on a border policemen in the building," said Gharzai.

"After a 40-minute gun battle both suicide attackers were shot and the explosives strapped to their bodies went off," Gharzai said, adding that he had been at the compound when the attacks took place.

"Only four policemen were slightly wounded," he added.

The compound had most of its windows broken and was littered with body parts of the suicide attackers, bullets and blood, an AFP reporter said.

Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack but said the motorcycle bomb had been detonated by remote-control.

The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the attack and that three policemen were wounded.

Taliban-led militants have stepped up coordinated gun and suicide bomb assaults on the Western-backed Afghan government as part of their nine-year insurgency against the regime and 130,000 US-led foreign troops in the country.

Bomb attacks and targeted assassinations have increased in Kandahar, where US-led troops are stepping up operations in a bid to beat back the Taliban and allow US troops to start withdrawing next year.