71 dead, over 200 injured in terror attack on Afghan police centre

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Gardez, Oct 18: Two separate suicide and gun attacks on government forces in Afghanistan left nearly 71 dead and more than 200 wounded - the latest devastating assault on the country's beleaguered security forces.

Taliban claimed the most deadly of the two assaults, a coordinated attack on police in the southeast Afghan city of Gardez that left hospital officials calling for blood donations and desperate scenes as relatives queued for news of their loved ones after the long gun battle.

A separate ambush blamed on the Taliban in the neighbouring province of Ghazni on Tuesday killed 15 security officials with 12 wounded on a bloody day for government forces. The assaults are a fresh blow as militants step up their offensives across Afghanistan, with security forces already beset by corruption, desertions and suffering shocking casualties over the past year.

Provincial chief police, Mohammad Zaman, said the attack in Andar district on Tuesday triggered several hours of heavy fighting until the attackers were repelled. Zaman said the district compound has been destroyed. The Interior Ministry said a militant attack, including a suicide car bombing is underway in eastern Paktia province's capital, Gardez, where insurgents targeted a police training centre.

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