Multiple attacks leave 10 dead, wound 45 in west Afghanistan

08:36, May 31, 2011      

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Ten people including five suicide bombers were killed and 45 others with majority of them civilians were injured as anti-government militants carried out multiple attacks in the relatively peaceful Herat province, 640 km west of the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday.

In Monday's attacks, according to police, a suicide bomber blew his explosive-laden car up near the entry gate of NATO-led forces Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) that followed by gun shots.

Run by Italian troops, the PRT is a civilian-military unit supporting local administrations in reconstruction process and strengthening security fields.

More than 3,000 Italian troops have been stationed in Afghanistan mostly in the western region within the framework of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

A group of armed militants wearing suicide vests seized a building next to the PRT base and began firing on PRT compound and Afghan police and army personnel stationed around, according to police.

"In today's terrorist attacks and counter-attack 10 people including four civilians, one police and five suicide bombers were killed," police chief of Herat province Syed Aqa Saqib said at a press conference on Monday evening.

During the operation which lasted some five hours, according to Saqib, 45 people including 34 civilians and 11 policemen sustained injuries.

The attackers, according to police after detonating the explosive-laden car near the entry gate to Italian-run PRT occupied a nearby building and began indiscriminately firing which had inflicted casualties mostly on civilians.

The police chief avoided commenting if there were any casualties on NATO-led forces casualties. However, media reports from Italy quoted Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa in Rome as saying that five Italian soldiers were injured in the attack.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops, according to media reports have claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Herat city is among seven areas where Afghan security forces will take full security responsibility in July from over 140,000 NATO and U.S. forces stationed in the country.

Source: Xinhua
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