KABUL - A suicide bomb and gun attack on a courthouse in the west Afghan city of Farah, yesterday, left six people dead and 70 injured.
A bomb-laden vehicle exploded outside the provincial courthouse, in a busy area close to banks and shops. After a fierce initial gun battle, shooting continued as militants took cover in at least one building.
Taliban insurgents said they were behind the attack in the strategic province, which borders Iran.
A bomb and gun attack on the governor's compound last May left six policemen, a civilian and four attackers dead.
'Packed with civilians'
In the attack, it appears the militants struck while a trial of Taliban suspects was taking place inside the courthouse. An unconfirmed report by the Taliban said those on trial had been freed.
The vast majority of those wounded were civilians, officials said. Eyewitnesses said both sides had used machine-guns and grenades.
Mohammad Yunus, Farah’s deputy governor, told a private Afghan TV channel by phone that militants had set off a “large explosive-laden vehicle”, damaging buildings including the governor’s office, other government and non-government agencies, and two banks.
After the initial assault, he told Channel One TV, that gunmen took up position in “multi-storey buildings”.
Speaking to the BBC, a senior Afghan security source said: “First there was a suicide attack, later on a group of attackers started fighting.” He also confirmed there had been fighting close to a court and a bank.