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Deadly suicide attack strikes guesthouse
Four Afghan security guards employed by the German development agency GTZ were killed Tuesday after three suicide bombers attacked a guesthouse used by foreigners in the northern province of Kunduz.
REUTERS - Three suicide bombers attacked a guesthouse frequented by foreigners in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Tuesday, killing four Afghan security guards employed by a German company, a senior police detective said.
The raid followed a string of assassinations in the once peaceful north of the country, and came one day after the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
One attacker detonated a car bomb at the gates of the guesthouse. The other two stormed the building where they fought Afghan forces for a couple of hours before detonating their explosives, said Kunduz police detective Abdul Rahman.
Ten people, including civilians and a police officer, were wounded in the early morning attack, said Rahman. It was not immediately clear if any foreigners were among the wounded.
Rahman said the slain Afghan security guards were employed by German development agency GTZ.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Violence has intensified in the north of the country in the past year as insurgents seek to demonstrate their reach beyond their traditional southern heartland around Kandahar city.
The police chief of north Afghanistan, General Dawood Dawood, was killed in May in a massive bomb attack in Takhar province, along with the Takhar police chief.
In June, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a memorial service for Dawood in Kunduz, killing at least four policemen. The attack appeared to target the police chief of Kunduz province, Sameullah Qatra, whose predecessor in the post was killed by a suicide bomber in March. Qatra was unharmed.
Violence is at its worst in Afghanistan since U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in late 2001, with high levels of foreign troop deaths, and record civilian casualties.
A gradual transition of security control to Afghan forces began last month with when areas were handed over by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Afghan forces are due to take full control across the country by the end of 2014.
In the past month insurgents have carried out a string of destabilising assassinations of high-profile southern leaders, including President Hamid Karzai’s younger brother, and several large attacks killing police and civilians.