At least 8 killed in major assault by 15 Taliban suicide bombers in E. Afghanistan

Waves of Taliban fighters and suicide bombers launched themselves on the governor’s compound, police headquarters and security center in Gardez, capital of the eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan early Tuesday, July 21, according to a US military spokeswoman. Two provincial officials said at least five members of Afghan security forces and three Taliban fighters were killed in the gunbattles that raged in the town. Two of the suicide bombers were disguised in women’s burqas.
Also Tuesday, Taliban fighters kidnapped 13 workers from a construction firm in the Wazi Zadran district of of the same Paktia province.
The Taliban have redoubled their offensive across the country, since some 7,000 US Marines and British troops launched a major offensive against the its southern stronghold of Helmand earlier this month, the first ordered by the Obama administration ahead of Afghanistan’s elections next month.
By the 21st of the month, July 2009 had seen the highest number of coalition deaths in the eight-year war – 27 American and 18 British troops in the embattled province alone.
Monday, 10 Taliban instructors were killed in the Ghazni province while teaching new recruits how to plant roadside bombs. And in the northern province of Kunduz, four Afghan soldiers and 13 Taliban fighters were killed in battle. Another five Afghan troops and 12 Taliban were wounded.

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