KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — At least seven people were killed Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, where a Taliban suicide car bombing struck an Afghan National Army convoy, Afghan officials said. It was the first major attack since President Trump announced his strategy for Afghanistan in a speech Monday night.
Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand Province, said that a car bomb exploded at the parking lot of the Police Headquarters of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. The target appeared to be a parked convoy of soldiers, but the explosion killed two women and a child, as well as four soldiers. Another 38 people were wounded, most of them civilians, Mr. Zwak said. The parking lot was also used by civilians visiting the Police Headquarters.
“Next to the bombing site we have a mosque in which children are studying religious subjects, they suffered casualties from the powerful bombing,” said Abdul Salam Afghan, a spokesman for the Helmand police. He said he did not know how many students were hurt, but that several were in critical condition.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after the announcement of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan. In a statement emailed to reporters, the Taliban’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that the attack was carried out by a member of the “Battalion of Martyrdom Seekers,” which targeted a convoy of Afghan forces inside the Police Headquarters.
The Taliban control most of Helmand Province outside the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, where suicide attacks by the insurgents are common.
As the Taliban have gained territory through the country, they have killed government forces at the highest rate of the war. On an average day, 31 Afghan police officers and soldiers are killed, as well as nine civilians, according to official data.
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