By Zabihullah Tamanna
KABUL (AA) - At least one policeman and five civilians were killed Wednesday when a group of Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen stormed an appeals court in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, police officials said.
At least 11 others -- including the court chief and one woman -- were wounded in the attack, which took place at around 10am local time in the city of Ghazni some 150 kilometers southeast of capital Kabul.
The Taliban militant group later claimed responsibility for the attack, in which the assailants wore military uniforms and were equipped with suicide vests.
General Aminullah Amarkhel, the provincial police chief, told Anadolu Agency that the attack had begun with the detonation of a car-bomb outside the court.
"This was followed by a fierce gunfight between the attackers and defenders," Amarkhel said.
"Gunmen then tried to force their way into the court building, but our security forces successfully repelled them," he added.
One hour later, he added, all the attackers had been killed.
Taliban militants have stepped up their attacks on government and military targets since their leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in late May.
In a related development, a roadside bomb -- presumably planted by the Taliban -- killed the district police chief of Sholgara on Wednesday morning in the northern Balkh province.
Three of his bodyguards were injured in the incident.
The latest attacks come one day after Taliban militants abducted some 200 bus passengers in the northern Kunduz province, at least 10 of whom they executed.