Dozens of people were killed or wounded when as many as five suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said. Local journalists say the attack is not over as yet.
The attack, claimed by the Taliban, began around 6:30 am (0200 GMT) when one bomber detonated a car packed with explosives at the gate of the police headquarters in Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province, Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said.
#AFG Afghan Special forces fighting against 1 or 2 attackers inside a kitchen at a police base in Gardez, provincial council member Mangal.
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) June 18, 2017
Four more attackers stormed the gate after the blast, with at least two quickly killed by police. The others held out against Afghan special forces that had responded to the attack, he said.
Paktia province borders Pakistan, which has been accused by Afghanistan of facilitating the Afghan Taliban.
Doctors at the city hospital said they had received the bodies of at least five police, as well as at least 30 wounded people, including 20 civilians.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reporting more than 100 police were killed and wounded. The militant group often exaggerates casualty numbers in attacks against government targets and security forces.
At least one Afghan soldier was killed and several American soldiers were wounded in an incident at a base in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, a US military official said.
A spokesman for the US military command in Kabul denied reports by an Afghan official that Americans had been killed, but confirmed that an unspecified number of soldiers had been wounded at Camp Shaheen, which is the headquarters of the Afghan army's 209th Corps in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
At least one Afghan soldier was killed and another wounded, the official said.
Pakistani diplomats missing
At least two Pakistani diplomats based in a consulate office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad have been missing since Friday, when they set off by road back to their homeland, Pakistan's foreign office said on Sunday.
"Pakistan has requested the Afghan Government that all efforts may be made to ensure early recovery of our officials and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice," the foreign ministry said in a statement
Islamabad said Afghanistan had formed three different investigating groups to probe the incident. The foreign ministry did not speculate who may be behind the disappearances but various Afghan Islamist groups have targeted diplomats in the past.