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Afghan District Governor Among Those Killed In Taliban Attack


Afghan men stand over dead bodies at the site of an attack by Taliban militants on a government compound in the Khwaja Omari district in Ghazni Province on April 12.

Afghan officials say at least 15 people have been killed, including a district governor, after Taliban militants attacked a district government compound in southeastern Afghanistan.

Provincial officials said on April 12 that police and intelligence officers were also among those killed in the overnight raid on the Khwaja Omari district headquarters in Ghazni Province.

Deputy provincial police chief Ramazan Ali Mohsini said among those killed were Ali Dost Shams, the district governor, seven police officers, and five members of the National Directorate of Security, the country's main intelligence agency.

Mohsini also said 25 Taliban fighters were killed in the gunbattle that started late on April 11 and lasted until morning.

"The attack is over and the district is under the control of Afghan security forces after reinforcement forces rushed to the scene," Mohsini said.

A member of the provincial council, Ghulam Sakhi Amar, said the attackers torched the district governor's office building after removing weapons and other equipment.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid, saying more than 20 members of Afghan security forces were killed and several others wounded. It said three militants also died and four others were wounded.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and said it was carried out by "Afghanistan's enemy," a reference to the Taliban.

The Taliban controls large swaths of Ghazni, a strategic province near the border with Pakistan.

The assault comes as the Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
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