Seven Police Killed In Kabul-Kandahar Highway Attack

Security forces guard the highway preventing Taliban from taking control

Security forces guard the highway preventing Taliban from taking control

Afghan policemen arrive at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan August 15, 2018. "The bomber detonated himself inside the education centre", police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

In a short message on social media, the Taliban spokesman posted that the group's "mujahideen have no links with Kabul incident".

Mohammad Arif Shahjahan, an MP from Ghazni, told CNN Monday Taliban fighters had taken control of key buildings, including the police headquarters and some government offices in Ghazni.

Doctors at city hospitals, where people had gathered to try to find relatives who had been studying at the center, said numerous victims were severely burned.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Jawad Ghawari, a member of the city's Shia clerical council, blamed IS, which has carried similar attacks on Shias in the past, hitting mosques, schools and cultural centres.

Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group (IS) have carried out devastating, high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent months, but the Taliban quickly denied they were involved.

At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials said, and it is feared that at least as many civilians died.

A Taliban attack on a military outpost in the northern province of Baghlan has killed as many as 44 Afghan police and soldiers, provincial officials said, as the insurgents kept up pressure on government forces.

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"The extreme human suffering caused by the fighting in Ghazni highlights the urgent need for the war in Afghanistan to end", he said in a statement.

Although the Taliban overran a base in northern Afghanistan, and Afghan forces were battling insurgents for a fifth day in the eastern city of Ghazni on Tuesday, the US military reported that the city "remains under Afghan government control".

"They were facing severe shortage of food and drinking water as the power supply was also suspended to the city two days ago", the Taliban commander, who declined to be identified, said by telephone.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was providing dressing packages and oral and intravenous medicine to treat wounded at the provincial hospital.

"What we observed, as these Afghan-led operations drove a large portion of Taliban from the city over the last day or so, was the retreating Taliban attacking the more vulnerable surrounding districts, which Afghan forces are reinforcing". It comes before another cease-fire was expected to start next week to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

A source within the education center confirmed that the attack has taken place inside the educational center, targeting the students.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in the southern Zabul province early on Wednesday, killing four policemen, according to the provincial police chief, Mustafa Mayar, who said another three officers were wounded.

Abdul Hai Nemati, the governor of Baghlan, said at least nine security forces were still missing and four others were wounded in the attack.

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