Afghan police kill five would-be suicide bombers
Police killed five would-be suicide bombers in south-eastern Afghanistan, two days after a Taliban suicide squad killed 35 police and civilians in the south of the country, a government statement said Monday.
The suspected bombers were identified by Afghan police as they entered the main town of Bermal in Paktika province, 200 kilometres south of Kabul, on Monday morning, the Interior Ministry statement said, DPA reported.
"Three of the bombers, who were wearing vests packed with explosives, were killed by the police's small arms fire," the statement said, adding, "Two other terrorists fled and entered a shop nearby and were killed after a short resistance."
There were no casualties among civilians in the blasts and the gun-battle, it said, adding that one police officer was lightly injured. Two rifles were seized from the militants.
Paktika is on the border with Pakistan, where fighters for the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban, are most active.
Monday's attack came two days after five suicide bombers attacked different parts of the southern city of Kandahar, including the central jail.
At least 35 people - 13 police officers and 22 civilians - were killed in around a dozen explosions involving suicide car-bombings, roadside mines and rocket-propelled grenades.
A total of 57 others were injured in Saturday's attacks, which the Taliban declared were a response to NATO's warning of an imminent new offensive in the region.
Afghan and NATO forces in mid-February began the biggest operation since the ouster of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in Marjah in the southern province of Helmand.
The military officials said that operation was a prelude to a bigger offensive planned for Kandahar and other parts of the country in the spring.