38 killed in attack on Afghan bank

Monday, February 21, 2011

38 people were reported dead Sunday, in a Taliban attack on a bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The incident, orchestrated by five suicide bombers disguised as policemen and soldiers, quickly escalated into a confrontation between security forces and the invaders armed with machine guns.

After a several-hour standoff, four of the five attackers detonated their bombs while the fifth was arrested by police. A representative for the Interior Ministry told the press that "Thirty eight people were martyred which includes 21 security forces personnel and 17 civilians." Members of the police force were apparently receiving their paychecks when the attackers entered the bank and began indiscriminately firing at guards and civilians. 70 others were also wounded.

Although officials refused to itemize the casualties, they claimed that due to the random nature of the gunfire, both security personnel and civilian bankers were killed. Attacks targeting police have become common in the Nangarhar province; this incident was the third major attack this week.