Suicide Bomber Targets Police as Taliban Pushes into Helmand Capital

Local Officials Say Taliban About 2 km From Governor's Compound

by Jason Ditz, October 10, 2016

Just a few days after Taliban forces entered the northern provincial capital of Kunduz, they have today advanced into the capital city in Afghanistan’s southwestern Helmand Province, Lashkar Gah, which they’ve been steadily surrounding for months.

A suicide car bomb played a big role in this advance into Lashkar Gah, with the bombing targeting a group of police. At least 14 people were killed, and 10 of them police. 15 others were reported wounded in the attack, which targeted a security checkpoint.

And while Afghan officials expressed confidence that the military would eventually repel the attacks, locals were already reporting that Taliban forces have come within just two kilometers of the governor’s compound, and seem to be moving quickly after getting through the checkpoint “belt” around the city’s outskirts.

Helmand is seen a particularly valuable for the Taliban because it is a major hub of the nation’s opium trade. It is one of three provincial capitals the Taliban are threatening, with the capitals of Kunduz and Uruzgan also in range of security forces.

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