Death toll climbs to 22 in suicide attack on Afghan police station

Taliban claim responsibility for suicide attack on Afghan police station that left at least 22 dead

At least 22 people were killed Tuesday when a team of Taliban suicide bombers attacked a police station in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

The complex raid began when two insurgents dressed as police officers detonated explosives at the entrance to the police headquarters in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of Logar province, and at a security checkpoint inside the compound, said Din Mohammad Darwesh, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Other bombers then stormed a canteen where police officers were eating lunch. Twenty police officers and two civilian employees were killed, Darwesh said. Another seven police officers were wounded.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

It was the latest Taliban-claimed attack against Afghan security forces, coming two weeks after 11 police officers were killed in two attacks in southern and western Afghanistan.

Casualties among Afghan security forces have risen as U.S.-led coalition forces have withdrawn into a supporting role in Afghanistan. According to coalition figures, more than 4,600 Afghan soldiers and police were killed in action between January and early November 2014, more than in any previous 12-month period since the U.S.-led mission began tracking casualties.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy condemned what it described as a “horrific attack.”

“The attack targeted police officers, who in service to their country were providing security to their community,” the statement said.

Special correspondent Latifi reported from Jalalabad and Times staff writer Bengali from Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Follow @SBengali on Twitter for news out of South Asia

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


8:15 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional information about the attack.

4:15 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional information about the attack and background. 

This article was originally published at 2:44 a.m.