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Taliban kill 44 in court bomb attack


Nine Taliban suicide bombers killed themselves and 44 others yesterday in an attack on a courtroom in western Afghanistan where 10 of their comrades were on trial, a local official said.

Causing the biggest death toll in a single attack since 2011, the militants, strapped with explosives, stormed the governor’s compound in the capital of Farah Province, bordering Iran, where the trial was taking place.

A total of 34 of the dead were civilians, the rest Afghan security forces, the governor’s spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhwandai said. The Taliban said all 10 of its fighters who were on trial were freed.

“We sent several warnings to those in the Farah government, telling them not to work there,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said.

The attack will add to concerns about how Afghan security forces will manage once Nato-led combat troops withdraw by the end of next year.

Farah Province, where US and Italian troops are stationed, saw a sharp deterioration in security last year, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.