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News, August 2011

 
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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

 
8 Afghani Supreme Group Security Personnel Killed by 3 Taliban Suicide Bombers in Attack on Kandahar Fuel Depot

August 15, 2011

Death toll in Kandahar suicide attack upped to four, 8 wounded

By David Ariosto, CNN August 16, 2011 2:58 a.m. EDT

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) --

4 people were killed by a suicide attack at a fuel depot near Kandahar International Airport 8 people wounded in the attack Afghan officials previously said 3 were killed and 6 were wounded Kandahar City is long considered a hotbed of insurgent activity.

Afghan authorities on Tuesday raised the number of those killed by a suicide attack at a fuel depot near Kandahar International Airport to four people.

Eight people were also wounded in an attack carried out by three militants at a compound run by an international contractor called Supreme Group, according to a provincial government spokesman.

Zalmai Ayubi said all those killed and injured were Supreme Group security personnel. CNN cannot independently confirm that account.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wearing vests packed with explosives, the militants stormed the compound Monday evening, Ayubi said.

One man drove a minibus toward the facility and detonated himself as he approached the main security gate, clearing the way for the other militants to enter the compound and engage in a firefight with security personnel, according to Ayubi.

The militants were later killed in a subsequent gun battle with police and security guards.

NATO, meanwhile, was not involved in the fight but had been monitoring the situation, as coalition forces encourage local and national forces to take on more prominent security roles throughout the country, said Maj. Jason Waggoner, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

The airport is located southeast of Kandahar City, long considered a hotbed of insurgent activity, and is used for both military and civilian fights.

A similar quick-strike tactic was employed by insurgents Sunday in the country's northeastern Parwan province, where six militants -- also wearing bomb-laden vests -- stormed the provincial governor's compound in an attack that left 25 people dead, including themselves.

The governor managed to escape that attack, which the Taliban later took responsibility for.

Suicide strikes -- along with roadside bomb attacks -- have become a hallmark of Taliban-style tactics.

Insurgents attack tanker depot in Afghanistan

By MIRWAIS KHAN - ASSOCIATED PRESS

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP)

(Taliban Fighters) attacked a fuel tanker depot Monday outside the main international military base in southern Afghanistan, killing three people, officials said.

Two assailants set off explosives that were packed in a mini-bus at the entrance of a compound operated by international contractor Supreme Group, according from a statement from the Kandahar governor's office. The compound is outside of Kandahar Air Field the base of NATO and U.S. operations in the south.

One person was killed in addition to the two suicide attackers, said Zalmai Ayubi, the provincial government spokesman.

Six Afghan security force members were wounded, Ayubi said.

A call to Supreme Group seeking comment rang unanswered.

The compound is used by fuel tankers that supply NATO bases, said Ahmadullah Niaz, who works in the compound.

It was the day's second violent clash. Early Monday, insurgents attacked a district government center in eastern Afghanistan, sparking gunbattle that lasted for hours and left a police officer and four militants dead.

The attack in Qarabagh district of Ghazni province lasted several hours before militants retreated, said Ghazni provincial Police Chief Gen. Zirawer Zahid.

The fighting comes the day after six suicide bombers attacked a governor's security meeting in a town near the country's capital. Twenty-two people were killed.

(This version CORRECTS that the three dead include two attackers.)

Four die in Taliban attack near Afghan NATO base

By Mamoon Durrani | AFP

Monday, August 15, 2011

Four security guards died Monday as suicide bombers targeted a fuel depot for NATO-led forces close to one of Afghanistan's biggest bases, where thousands of foreign troops are stationed.

The attack happened at a facility belonging to logistics company Supreme, near the sprawling Kandahar airfield, which acts as a hub for troop operations across south Afghanistan, the Taliban's heartland and focus of the war.

The police commander for southern Afghanistan, General Salem Ihsas, said four Afghan guards working for a private security firm were killed in the assault, which happened at around 9:00 pm (1630 GMT).

He said eight other guards -- three from Nepal and five from Afghanistan -- were also wounded.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the militant group was behind the attack in a telephone call from an undisclosed location.

The insurgents frequently target organisations, both foreign and Afghan, which work with the 140,000-strong foreign military in Afghanistan as well as fuel convoys and tankers supplying the international force.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) relies on contractors to provide a wide range of services in Afghanistan, particularly at large hub bases such as Kandahar airfield.

Ihsas said three suicide bombers were behind the attack, with two blowing themselves up at the compound gates and a third shot dead by security forces in a gun battle.

The fighting is now over and "we are in control," Ihsas said, adding the suicide bombers had not managed to get inside the compound.

The attack was also confirmed by the provincial governor's spokesman and the local Afghan army commander.

The website of the company targeted, Supreme, says it provides services to foreign military including fuel, catering, cargo transportation and logistics.

It adds that it has over 50 years' experience working in "demanding environments."

The company, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, was not immediately reachable for comment, while an ISAF spokesman in Kabul said he did not have any more information.

Kandahar airfield is located just outside Kandahar city, the birthplace of the Taliban and the biggest city in southern Afghanistan, which is frequently hit by violent disturbances.

Kandahar has seen several high-profile attacks in recent weeks, including the killing of the city's mayor and President Hamid Karzai's powerful brother.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan Monday, a policeman and four Taliban insurgents were killed when militants attacked district government offices in Ghazni province, central Afghanistan.

The attack in the Qarabagh district lasted about an hour and started when the Taliban launched two rockets at the district's administrative headquarters before opening fire on a police checkpoint nearby.

Police shot back, triggering a gun fight, but insurgents did not get inside the compound, Ghazni police chief Dilawar Zahid said.

On Sunday, 22 people were killed when the Taliban stormed the compound of the governor of Parwan province, just north of Kabul.

International combat troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand over control to Afghan security forces.






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