Militants Storm Eastern Afghan District, Killing 10

Posted June 29th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials in eastern Afghanistan say militants, including suicide bombers, stormed a remote district early Friday, sparking a gunbattle that killed 10 people.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province.

The provincial governor's spokesman Muhammad Zarin told VOA that at least 17 militants crossed the border from Pakistan and attacked a compound that housed government offices and residences. The dead included four civilians and six security personnel. The wife of a local police officer was among the four women who were killed.

At least 20 civilians, including children, were wounded in the attack.

Afghan authorities say the nearly 12-hour gunfight ended when security forces killed all of the attackers.

Officials said NATO provided air support to Afghan forces battling the militants.

Nuristan's Kamdesh district borders Pakistan's northwest. The porous Afghan-Pakistani border is a known safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants who often move freely between the two countries.

Recent attacks in Afghanistan have raised concerns of whether Afghan forces will be prepared to take over security responsibility of the entire country once foreign combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.