2 dead as insurgents attack state TV building in Afghanistan

National News
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A crisis response team in Afghanistan is searching a television station building room by room after attackers stormed the premises, in an ongoing situation that has left at least two people dead.

Radio Television Afghanistan confirmed its office in the eastern city of Jalalabad had come under attack.

There appears to have been at least three attackers, two of whom blew themselves up, while at least one was still fighting security forces, said Nangarhar provincial governor spokesman Atauolah Khogyani, the Reuters news agency reported. CNN is working to verify this information.

An explosion was heard from the vicinity after the insurgents entered the building, police said, and footage from the scene showed people running in a panic as a barrage of gunfire rang out.

One of the people killed was an employee of the television station and the other was also a civilian, Khogyani told CNN.

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.

It is not clear who was behind the attack, but Jalalabad has previously been hit by Taliban and ISIS assaults.

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.

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.

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