The bombings were followed by a gunfight at police headquarters in southern Kandahar province.

Afghan security forces arrive after a powerful explosion outside the provincial police headquarters in Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Afghan security forces arrive after a powerful explosion outside the provincial police headquarters in Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP)

At least 12 people have been killed and more than 80 wounded when Taliban fighters detonated two car bombs at a gate outside police headquarters in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Thursday, police and medical officials and the Taliban said.

After the blasts, militant gunman opened fire from nearby positions and members of the security forces battled them, said Tadeen Khan, the southern city's chief of police.

The attackers targeted the police force's counter-narcotics wing, Khan said.

Eyewitnesses said that following the first explosion, three back-to-back explosions were heard and the gunfight was still going on.

TRT World spoke to Bilal Sarwary for more on the story.

Police cordoned off the area as passers-by fled.

Those killed were both policemen and civilians, said Bahir Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, giving the death toll.

A doctor on duty in Kandahar provincial hospital said 83 wounded people had been taken to the hospital, most of them civilians.

The Taliban said in a statement their fighters had detonated car bombs and clashes were continuing as some fighters had entered the police offices.

Ongoing violence

Kandahar was the former seat of the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were ousted by a US-led coalition in 2001.

The militants have fought on and while US officials and Taliban militants have been discussing a peace deal since late last year to end the war, the violence has not abated.

At least 20 Afghan forces' members were killed in a Taliban ambush in Abkamari district in western Badghis province on Wednesday.

The Taliban also killed an Afghan commander on Wednesday in central Afghanistan. Mateen Mujtaba, who headed an army division in Ghazni province, was conducting a security check in Qarabagh district when an Afghan soldier started shooting.

Officials said the soldier was an infiltrator from the Taliban group.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies