Two dead as attackers storm state TV station in Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers capture a suspect after Wednesday’s attack on a TV station in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

By Euan McKirdy and Ehsan Popalzai, CNN

Kabul (CNN)At least two people have been killed in eastern Afghanistan after armed attackers stormed the building of a television station.

Security forces were called to the premises of Radio Television Afghanistan in the city of Jalalabad and were drawn into a long gun battle with the attackers.
Four of the five attackers have been killed, including one suicide bomber, the Nangarhar province governor’s spokesman Atauolah Khogyani told CNN. The fifth attacker has been arrested and the situation is now over.

Smoke billows from the scene of an attack on the state-run RTA TV station Wednesday.

Of the two civilians killed, one was an employee of the television station, Khogyani said.
Police earlier described the attackers as insurgents, but it is not immediately clear who was behind the assault. Jalalabad has previously been hit by Taliban and ISIS attacks.
An explosion was heard from the vicinity after the attackers entered the building, police said, and footage from the scene showed people running in a panic as a barrage of gunfire rang out.
A crisis response team was called to the scene and searched the premises room by room.
At least 14 people were injured in the attack, the provincial health services director Najibullah Kamawal said, seven of whom have been treated in hospital and since released.

Recent attacks

Civilians are often targeted by militants in Afghanistan in bombings and attacks by gunmen.
In February, a team of three drivers and five Red Cross field officers was on its way to deliver livestock materials to an area in Jawzjan province when “unknown armed men” attacked it, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Afghan security officials respond to the attack.

A month before that, dozens were killed in a flurry of attacks across the country, including twin suicide bombings near the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, an explosion at a Kandahar province government compound and a suicide bombing in Helmand province.
In August 2016, an attack led to the deaths of 13 people including students and staff at Kabul’s American University of Afghanistan.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 injured in 2016 — marking the highest number of civilian casualties since the UN began documenting statistics in Afghanistan.

Categories: Afghanistan

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