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  • An Afghan police officer keeps watch near the site of the suicide car bomb blast in Kandahar.

    An Afghan police officer keeps watch near the site of the suicide car bomb blast in Kandahar. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 July 2019

The attack came amid peace talks that started last year between the Taliban and the U.S. to find a way out to the 18-year war.

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded Thursday afternoon in a Taliban attack against a police headquarters in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar, government authorities and the Taliban say.

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"A number of mujahideen equipped with heavy and small arms breached the headquarters and launched their operations inside," said Thursday Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, adding the attack has first started with a car bomb when two Taliban blew themselves up.

Nine civilians were killed during the assault while women and children figured among the wounded, said Baheer Ahmadi, a governor spokesman of Kandahar. The official added that six Taliban were later shot by the police. 

"The fighting is over now. Some vehicles were burned. Now the Afghan army and U.S. helicopters are hovering in the area," police chief Tadin Khan told AFP news agency.

Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city behind Kabul, used to be the Taliban's bastion when the group was ruling the country under the commandment of Mullah Mohammed Omar between 1996 and 2001, and before its expulsion from power by a U.S. coalition. Since then, the organization has been fighting against U.S. military and allied forces that back the current government they put in place.

Former U.S. Defense Chief Robert Gates said in May that there is a "real risk" that the Taliban could retake the entire country if the U.S. armed forces pulled out before the Afghan government is stable. 

The attack came amid peace talks that started last year between the group and the U.S. to find a way out to the 18-year war. Despite the talks, violence and disorder are still high in the country with Afghan police, military, and civilians as well as the Taliban, enduring daily losses.

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