2 Taliban Bombings Kill Over a Dozen in Kabul


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Smoke from the bombing on Wednesday at a police station in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban set off two explosions in quick succession in the capital on Wednesday, killing 15 people and wounding 50, according to Afghan officials.

Three of the dead were security force members, but most of the rest were believed to be civilians.

Officials said a bomb first went off at a neighborhood police headquarters in the southwestern part of the city. A short time later, a second explosion was heard in the eastern side of the city, near offices of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency.

Faraidoon Obaidi, head of the Kabul police criminal investigations division, confirmed the casualty toll. He said two attackers had entered the police headquarters, while another pair assaulted a nearby recruitment center for the Afghan National Army. The later strike also used two attackers.

After the explosions, the attackers apparently fought with the authorities. An exchange of small-arms fire was heard in both areas for five hours. The attackers were presumably killed.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, emailed and posted social media messages claiming responsibility for the bombings soon after they took place.

The attack on the security office involved a suicide bomber, but it was unclear what sort of detonation took place at police headquarters. It was the first insurgent bombing in Kabul since Feb. 7, when a suicide bomber killed more than a dozen people outside the Supreme Court offices.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Wednesday, a district in the northern province of Baghlan fell to the Taliban on Wednesday, according to Faizullah Amiri, the governor of Tala Wa Barfak district. It was believed to be the first time in recent years that a district in Baghlan, normally a government stronghold, had fallen to the insurgents.

“We were under siege for four days,” Mr. Amiri said. “Our supply routes from Bamian were blocked and the route to Baghlan was also blocked and eventually the district collapsed to the Taliban.”

He said three security force members and seven Taliban militants had died in the fighting.

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