Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsElections

7 Taliban fighters killed in gun battle

July 26, 2009|Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Taliban fighters wearing suicide vests attacked a provincial capital Saturday, triggering gun battles that killed seven militants.

The assault in Khowst began when at least six Taliban fighters carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades stormed the area around the main police station and a nearby government-run bank. All were shot and killed before they could detonate their suicide vests, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A seventh attacker detonated a car rigged with explosives near a police rapid-reaction force, wounding two policemen, the ministry said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said all the attackers were killed, but the Defense Ministry later said an eighth attacker may have escaped. The ministry said no government forces were killed, but 14 people were wounded, 11 civilians and three police officers.

The attack came four days after Taliban militants launched near-simultaneous assaults in Gardez, about 50 miles northwest of Khowst, and in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Six Afghan police and intelligence officers and eight militants died in the two attacks.

Though the attacks did not kill large numbers of Afghan security forces, they showed the tenuous security situation in Afghanistan's countryside less than a month before Afghanistan's presidential election.

U.S. envoy Richard C. Holbrooke alluded to that concern Saturday, saying that it was "extraordinary" to hold an election in the middle of war. He met separately with President Hamid Karzai and his top two challengers.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|