KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen opened fire on Afghan security guards in the country’s northern Parwan province, killing at least eight guards, a provincial official and the insurgents said Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Tuesday, four policemen were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb around in southern Helmand province, a Taliban heartland. And in eastern Nangarhar province — where both the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate are active — a judge died in a bombing.
The attack on the Afghan guards took place late on Monday night and also left two other guards wounded, according to Wahida Shahkar, spokeswoman for the Parwan governor. The guards were attacked while they were on their way to work at Bagram airfield, the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan, she added.
Shahkar said the shooting is being investigated further.
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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the shooting in a statement sent to the media Tuesday.
The insurgents have stepped up attacks against Afghan security forces, and IS has been trying to expand its footprint by launching large-scale attacks across Afghanistan and targeting Afghan officials.
In Helmand, four policemen were killed and two were wounded when their car hit a roadside bomb around noon Tuesday, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor.
The attack took place along the main Helmand-Kandahar highway, in the Nahr-e Saraj district. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
In eastern Nangarhar province, a judge was killed when his vehicle was blown up by a sticky bomb on Tuesday morning, according to Attuhullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Later in the day, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for slaying the judge in a statement distributed by its media arm, the Aamaq news agency.
Khogyani said that Sher Rahman was a judge in an anti-corruption court. Three people were wounded, including two of the judge’s brothers, in the explosion, which took place in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.
Meanwhile, one person was killed and six were wounded when Afghan security forces on Monday night moved in to dismantle the last remaining tent set up by protesters rallying in the capital, Kabul.
Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s Chief Executive, first announced the incident during a live TV broadcast. He said the killings, which are under investigation, had “shocked us all.”
The Kabul protest began earlier this month, after a powerful truck bomb killed more than 150 people and wounded more than 450 in the heart of the city. Since then, scores of protesters have spent almost three weeks under huge tents on a road near the presidential palace and the blast site, as well as in other parts of the city. By Monday night, only the one, main tent had remained.
The protesters, however, reported two deaths and said 27 demonstrators were wounded in the police crackdown. A statement from the group said 11 others were arrested. The different casualty tolls could not immediately be reconciled.
“We are in discussion with our people and soon will inform you on our decision,” the protesters’ written statement said.
The demonstration had prompted police to block all roads leading to the presidential palace and diplomatic areas and restrict the movement of vehicles and people during the past weeks.
Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.