At least ten were killed and as many wounded after gunmen stormed a government compound in restive Jalalabad city. Meanwhile, Britain is expected to announce sending 440 extra troops to Afghanistan, in a NATO summit.

Men carry the body of a victim after an attack in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan, July 11, 2018.
Men carry the body of a victim after an attack in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan, July 11, 2018. ( Reuters )

Gunmen attacked an education department office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday and held out against security forces for some four hours before the assault ended with at least 10 people killed, officials said.

As the attack ended, the provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the casualties included 10 people wounded.

He said there were three attackers, two of whom detonated suicide-bomb vests, while the third was shot by security forces.

It was the third major attack in less than two weeks in Jalalabad, the main city of Nangarhar province, following a blast that killed a group of Sikhs on July 1 and a second that killed at least 12 people on Tuesday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attack.

TRT World's Sultan Faizy has more.

Britain sending extra troops

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge to send 440 extra troops to Afghanistan during the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday as US President Donald Trump urges allies to contribute more.

The extra troops will be from the Welsh Guards regiment, with around half deploying in August and a second contingent to follow in February.

"In committing additional troops to the Train Advise Assist operation in Afghanistan we have underlined once again that when NATO calls the UK is among the first to answer," May is expected to say at the summit.

The troops will help "bring the stability and security that the Afghan people deserve," she is expected to say.

The extra deployment will take the total number of British troops in the country to around 1,100.

The last UK combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014 after being involved in the conflict since 2001.

NATO personnel in Afghanistan

With NATO member countries meeting in Brussels, the attacks have underscored the instability in much of Afghanistan where the NATO-led Resolute Support mission has been training and advising Afghan forces.

Officials in Washington have told Reuters that Trump has been frustrated with the lack of progress and is expected to launch a review of the US strategy.

NATO countries have a total of 16,000 personnel in Afghanistan to support Afghan forces, including 13,000 US troops.

NATO asked Britain to deploy more forces last year and Trump has repeatedly called on NATO allies to increase their defence spending.

Britain is one of just five NATO members to meet the target of spending at least two percent of GDP on defence.

Previous attacks

Backed by intensive US air strikes, Afghan forces have claimed success in holding the Afghan Taliban back from major cities and US commanders say they have been hitting other militant groups like Daesh hard.

But attacks on civilian targets have continued, causing heavy casualties.

Both of the other assaults in the city this month were claimed by Daesh, which is opposed to both the Western-backed government in Kabul and the Taliban.

The attack on the education department appeared to be following the pattern of previous attacks including an assault on an office of the Save the Children aid group in Jalalabad in January and another on the city accounts office in May.

Nangarhar province, on the porous border with Pakistan, has become a stronghold of Daesh, which has grown into one of Afghanistan's most dangerous militant groups since it appeared around the beginning of 2015.  

Source: Reuters