KABUL – Five Afghan policemen and four bodyguards assigned to protect an education chief have been killed in two ambushes blamed on Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday.
The police were killed late Tuesday when a bomb detonated by remote control exploded under their patrol vehicle in the western province of Farah, regional police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told AFP.
He blamed the attack on “enemies of Afghanistan”, a phrase used by Afghan officials to refer to the Taliban, which is still fighting a bitter insurgency more than a decade after being toppled from power by the 2001 US-led invasion.
In eastern Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan, a provincial education director was severely wounded in a Taliban roadside bomb and gun attack that left four of his guards dead, officials said.
Atta Mohammad Qaneh was travelling to his headquarters in Paktika’s provincial capital of Sharana after inspecting schools in Urgun district, a dangerous border area, education ministry spokesman Amanullah Eman said.
“He was wounded in the attack and four of his guards were killed,” the official said. Another four people working for the provincial education department were wounded in the ambush, the spokesman added.
Mukhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the provincial government, confirmed the attack and the casualties, blaming Taliban-linked insurgents.
The Islamist militia is fighting to evict foreign troops and bring down the Western-backed government in Kabul.
The Taliban banned girls from going to school while in power from 1996 to 2001, and have targeted schools and teachers as part of their insurgency.
Afghan authorities said the rebels this week torched a school in Nangarhar province, also in the east.
Dozens more schools were recently closed in the central province of Ghazni over Taliban threats. They reopened last week after tribal elders interceded, Eman said.