Thirty two people have been killed and more than 200 people have been injured in an attack on a police training centre in Paktia province in southeast Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Suicide bombers armed with guns attacked the security forces after which a prolonged gunbattle began.
“At first a suicide bomber detonated a car filled with explosives near the training centre, making way for a number of attackers to start their assault”, the Afghan interior ministry said in a statement.
The victims included “women, students and police”, Hedayatullah Hamidi, public health director in Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, told AFP.
“The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,” said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez.
According to a statement issued by the interior ministry, the gunbattle between the attackers, armed with guns and suicide vests, and security forces was still under way inside the centre, which is located in Gardiz, the capital of Paktia province, bordering Pakistan.
A local official said two car bombs blew up near the compound that also houses the provincial headquarters of the national police, border police and Afghan National Army.
“A group of gunmen have entered the compound and fighting is ongoing,” Allah Mir Bahram, a member of the Paktia provincial council, told AFP.
The Taliban claimed responsibility in a tweet for the ongoing attack at the centre .
(With inputs from agencies)