Attacks in Afghanistan leave dozens dead and 2 schools burned

MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Four attacks across Afghanistan on Saturday night and Sunday killed at least 26 government security officers, while two schools were also set ablaze, according to Afghan officials.

They occurred late at night or early in the morning, with the attackers using long-range sniper rifles and night-vision equipment, according to Afghan officials, who tallied at least 10 wounded in all, along with those killed.

In separate assaults, a girls’ high school in Logar province, near the capital, Kabul, was burned on April 11, and masked attackers struck a school in the village of Momandara, in Nangarhar province, on Saturday night, setting archives and labs ablaze, according to education officials.

No one was reported hurt in those two attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but government officials blamed Taliban insurgents for the attacks on the government outposts. In recent years, mainstream Taliban forces have normally refrained from attacking schools.

In the Sancharak District, in the northern Sar-i-Pul province, the governor, Naqibullah Daqiq, said that two government checkpoints in the west had been attacked by Taliban fighters using night-vision equipment and sniper rifles, with one guard killed at first.

When local pro-government militiamen tried to counter the assault, they fell into a Taliban ambush, and 10 others were killed, Daqiq said.

Nematullah Tofan, police chief of the district of Dawlat Abad, in another northern province, Faryab, said that two government checkpoints in the village of Khairabad had fallen to Taliban fighters after their snipers killed four government defenders.

The third attack was in Ghazni province, in southeastern Afghanistan, where two Afghan Local Police checkpoints in the district of Jaghatu were attacked at 2 a.m. Sunday, killing eight officers and wounding four others, according to Hamidullah Nawruz, a member of the Ghazni provincial council.

A fourth attack took place Sunday afternoon, when three guards outside Nangarhar University in the eastern city of Jalalabad took a break for worship. Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on them while they were praying, killing two immediately, according to a news release from the provincial governor’s office. The third guard fled but was chased by the gunmen and killed, according to a witness who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

NAJIM RAHIM and JAWAD SUKHANYAR © 2018 The New York Times

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