Two children killed in Taliban attacks in Kandahar

An Afghanistan's policeman stands guard near the body of a Taliban fighter in Kandahar city on July 9, 2012. (AFP Photo/Jangir)
In Afghanistan, a pitched battle took place in the Taliban stronghold region of Kandahar, as suicide bombers detonated explosives at the entrance to a police compound. At least five people have been killed, including two children.

­The Monday attack targeted governmental, police and military buildings in Kandahar, the regional capital in the country’s south. Speaking to journalists, Governor Tooryalai Wesa explained that militants had explosives attached to their bodies.

Three bombers were on a motorcycle when their explosives went off prematurely as they tried to attack the police compound. Two children who were playing nearby were killed and six others injured, provincial spokesman Jawed Faisal told AFP. They were aged between eight and 12.

The attack continued when at least three more insurgents took over a nearby school and fired on police. They were gunned down by police before they could get into the compound, according to the spokesman. The gun battle lasted for two hours.

Official figures list 23 people killed, with 17 presumably being the terrorists, three being members of police, and three civilians, including the two children. Local medical personnel report about 40 wounded, including 18 police officers, according to RIA-Novosti.

On the same day, a suicide bomber on a bicycle tried to attack a police vehicle in the city of Shibirghan, the capital of the the northern Jawzjan province. That is according to local police chief Abdul Aziz Ghairat, who added that the bicycle detonated before reaching its intended target, wounding 24 civilians and two police officers.

Earlier, a bomb in the province killed six US troops. The Americans were killed when their armored vehicle struck a bomb.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the wave of violence, saying that “many foreign and Afghan troops have been killed.”

The Taliban states that this series of attacks is their response to Sunday's international fundraising conference on Afghanistan, which took place in Japan. Major donors pledged to give the country $16 billion in development aid through 2015, in order to prevent it from sliding back into chaos after foreign troops leave. The Taliban, however, says that the conference was aimed at commemorating the foreign occupation of Afghanistan.