Car Bomb Explodes in Afghanistan, Killing 16, as Team Tries to Defuse It

Car Bomb Explodes in Afghanistan, Killing 16, as Team Tries to Defuse It

The Ghazni governor, Abdul Karim Matin, said that 22 security personnel were killed in the attacks, including the Dih Yak police chief, Faiz Mohammad Toofan, and the commander of a police reserve unit that was activated to help in the fight, Barakatullah Rasooli. The Taliban attacks were both driven back, he said.

A member of Ghazni’s provincial council, Naseer Ahmad Faqiri, said the Taliban had captured the Jaghatu police headquarters for the second time in a week, and complained that the province has not been a government priority.

“Since two weeks ago there has been big Taliban pressure on the provincial capital and most of the districts in the province,” he said, adding that 20 more security personnel were killed in fighting last week.

“The situation is Ghazni is getting worse day by day, and the casualties of the security forces are also increasing every day,” Mr. Faqiri said.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Matin said the insurgents were using superior night vision equipment, which the police do not have. “The police chief of Dih Yak district was shot with one gunshot to the chest, using sniper rifles and night vision goggles,” he said.

In addition, the governor said, the insurgents regularly took advantage of the government’s reluctance to cause civilian casualties.

“The Taliban are using civilians as human shields, and we are not able to go after them in the villages and target them when civilians are with them,” he said. “We know that Taliban have presence in some of the mosques in Ghazni Province, but we cannot bomb mosques. We have restrictions, but Taliban have no restrictions — they do what they want.”

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