Taliban launches suicide attack in Helmand

Afghan Taliban launches suicide attack using captured Humvee in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, killing several security officers

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Afghanistan's security forces guard the site of a suicide attack in Helmand Province.

Updated Feb 14, 2016

A senior Afghan official said the Taliban has launched a suicide attack in the district center of Sangin in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Saturday, killing several security personnel.

The group carried out the attack in captured military Humvee vehicles in Helmand, a Taliban stronghold where the group controls many areas while government forces in some district center - including Sangin and Marjah - are barely holding on.

Provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said that, following a heavy fight between the Taliban and security forces on Friday in which the Taliban lost about 40 insurgents, the suicide bombers targeted the police and governor’s buildings in two captured Afghan army Humvees.  

"The first Humvee was ordered by the police to stop but when he ignored warnings, the police fired a rocket-propelled grenade," Sarjang said.

He said four policemen were killed and seven wounded after the second bomber detonated a vehicle near a checkpoint guarding the headquarters, while an army spokesman said one soldier was killed and another wounded.

The outgoing commander of international troops in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell confirmed the attack but said no American troops were among the victims.

"I think right now the Afghan forces have a plan to go after that," he said.

Over the past year the Taliban have seized large amounts of weapons and equipment from Afghan government forces, including Humvees and other vehicles.

Campbell had ordered around 500 special forces into Helmand to help by training and advising the Afghan security forces and also take part in combat when under attack.

Last month an American special forces soldier was killed in Helmand during a firefight near the district center of Marjah while he was on an operation with Afghan forces.

For several years, United States and British soldiers and marines suffered hundreds of casualties in Helmand where they fought against the Taliban to take control of the province, one of the world’s most significant opium-producing regions. 

TRTWorld, Reuters