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Taliban attacks leave 70 dead, 170 injured in two Afghan provinces

An image grab from a video released by Tolonews shows afghan forces sealing the site of bomb attacks in in Gardez, capital of the Paktia Province.

The Taliban militants have launched coordinated attacks on police forces in two neighboring provinces in southern Afghanistan, leaving at least 70 people dead and nearly 170 others injured.

Militants with explosives-laden vehicles had initially attacked a police training center in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province in southeast Afghanistan, claiming at least 41 lives and wounding 158 others.

“At first a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the training center, making way for a number of attackers to start their assault,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Hospital officials said “women, students and police” were among the victims.

Smoke rises from police headquarters while Afghan security forces keep watch after a car bomber and gunmen attacked the provincial police headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, Afghanistan, October 17, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

A battle is underway between the attackers, armed with guns and vests, and security forces inside the center located near the Paktia police headquarters, the ministry added.

“At the moment the area is sealed by the Crisis Response Unit and efforts are ongoing to eliminate the terrorists,” the statement noted.

Separately in the southern Ghazni Province, the militants attacked a police station and a checkpoint in the center of Andar District, leaving 25 policemen dead and 10 others injured, according to provincial authorities.

Afghan men receive treatment at a hospital after a car bomber and gunmen attacked a provincial Afghan police headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia Province, Afghanistan, October 17, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Elsewhere in western Afghanistan, Farah Province’s police chief Abdul Maruf Fulad said the Taliban had attacked a government compound in Shibkho district and killed at least three security forces.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for all the assaults.

The militants have warned that there will be no let-up in their attacks until foreign forces fully withdraw from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is still suffering from insecurity and violence years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but militancy continues to this day.

Taking advantage of the chaos, the Takfiri Daesh terror group has also emerged in eastern Afghanistan.

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