Attack on police HQ in Afghan city: official

Police headquarters in the volatile southern Afghan city of Kandahar came under attack Saturday, an official said, adding there had been an explosion and gunfire nearby.

Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar, said shots had been fired at the police office from a wedding hall nearby.
He added that there had also been an explosion near police headquarters but could not give further details.

There was no information on any casualties. Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan, is a traditional Taliban heartland that is hit by frequent instability despite an influx of foreign troops in a major operation against militants in recent months.

"Zarnegar hall, which is located on the other side of the road 50 metres away from Kandahar police HQ, has been the source of the shootings on the police HQ," Ayubi said. 

Witnesses said they had seen AK-47 assault rifles pointing out of the windows of the building and shooting at the police office.
Separately, an AFP reporter in the area heard another blast in the same area as well as arms fire in other parts of the city.

Earlier this week in Kandahar, a US customs officer died in an attack on a customs office.

Last month, the deputy provincial governor was killed in a suicide bombing while the local police chief has faced several recent attempts on his life.

There are around 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan fighting Taliban militants, who were ousted from power by a US-led invasion in 2001 following the September 11 attacks.

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