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Afghanistan: Government building attacked in Jalalabad, 12 dead

Four attackers killed by security forces after car bomb attack leaves eight civilians dead in eastern Afghan province.

Jalalabad

At least eight people have been killed in a car bomb explosion near a provincial government building in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar.

Following the blast, four attackers stormed the finance directorate in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, triggering heavy fighting with security officials.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said eight civilians, including three finance department employees, were killed in the car bomb attack. Fourty-two people were also wounded.

All four assailants were killed by security forces after five-hour gun battle.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Afghan security forces have struggled to combat the Taliban and ISIL since the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in the country in 2014 and shifted their focus to a support and counterterrorism role.

The Taliban have seized control of districts across the country, and the two groups have carried out attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in recent months, killing scores of people.

On May 9, a suicide attack claimed by the Taliban and the ISIL group on two police stations in the Afghan capital Kabul killed five people and wounded 16 others.

Voter registration sites have also come under attack as the country prepares to hold its long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October.

Last year, the US pledged to increase its support to struggling Afghan forces, announcing plans for thousands of additional advisers and increasing air raids in a bid to force the Taliban to enter peace negotiations.


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