Afghanistan Taliban kill 10 in Ghazni government compound

An Afghan man walks outside after receiving treatment at a hospital after a suicide bomb attack in Ghazni Province, on 4 September 2014. More than 160 people were taken to hospital with injuries sustained in the attack

Taliban militants have attacked an Afghan government compound in the eastern town of Ghazni killing at least 10 people, officials say.

Eight security personnel and two civilians were among the dead, police say, with all 19 attackers also killed.

Gunmen detonated two truck bombs as they blasted their way in to attack police and intelligence offices.

More than 160 people were injured and buildings, including the town's museum, were badly damaged.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says Taliban insurgents are in control or active in many parts of Ghazni province, which acts as a gateway from the south and south-east to the capital, Kabul.

Coordinated attack

At least 164 injured civilians were taken to several hospitals in the region, including one government hospital, local doctors have told the BBC.

Many of the casualties were said to have been wounded by broken glass.

Members of the Afghan security force keep watch at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Ghazni Province 4 September 2014. Two powerful blasts targeted the regional intelligence agency and a police compound in Ghazni
Afghan policemen help an injured comrade at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Ghazni Province 4 September 2014. Eight security personnel died in the attack, with many more wounded

The Taliban said they were behind the attack which began when 19 attackers launched a co-ordinated attack on government buildings armed with small and heavy weapons.

Some of the attackers managed to gain access to a nearby local restaurant, just 20 metres away from the regional intelligence agency and a police compound, Bilal Sarwary reports.

Two blasts targeted the entrance to the government compound, Ghazni deputy police chief Assadullah Ensafi said, before a three-hour gun battle.

BBC reporters on the ground say one of the town's most historic libraries was completely destroyed in the attack. The extent of damage to Ghazni museum is not yet clear.

The regional information and culture ministry was also damaged.

The attack occurred as a Nato summit began in Wales on Thursday, where leaders are due to discuss the alliance's role in Afghanistan after the final withdrawal of its combat troops at the end of the year.

The Afghan army has seen a rise in the number of casualties as it increasingly takes over the battle against Taliban militants from the US-led foreign troops.

Separately, Afghanistan remains embroiled in a political crisis over June's disputed presidential election. The two rival candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, both claim victory.

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