KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - At least three suicide bombers
attacked a police training center Monday in southern Afghanistan's
largest city, but the assailants were killed before they could
inflict any other casualties, officials said.
The midday attack started with a blast that could be heard
throughout much of Kandahar city.
One of the three attackers managed to blow through a defense
wall as he detonated his explosives, said Gen. Gul Nabi Ahmadzai,
head of police training programs for Afghanistan. The two remaining
bombers were shot dead when they engaged police in a gunbattle
while trying to enter the compound, he said.
There were no casualties among police trainers or officers
inside the compound, Ahmadzai said.
NATO and Afghan forces swarmed the training center, but it
appeared to be secure about an hour after the explosion. No more
gunshots could be heard.
A spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province gave a
slightly different account. Zulmai Ayubi said that the first blast
came from a car bomb driven into the wall by one of the assailants.
An officer reached inside the compound during the fighting said
there were four attackers, two of whom had managed to detonate
their explosives. He spoke anonymously because he was not an
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for
the attack, saying they sent four bombers. The Taliban have struck
the city recently with a slew of bombings and assassinations of
people seen as government allies - in a counteroffensive to a NATO
push into their southern strongholds.
NATO has pledged to make the coming offensive a combination of
military strikes and government-boosting programs it hopes will win
over the population.