International Law

53 dead in suicide attack on Afghan court intended to free 15 Taliban prisoners headed to trial


At least 53 people died Wednesday in an attack by suicide bombers on a court in Western Afghanistan.

They reportedly sought to free 15 suspected members of the Taliban who were headed to trial in the Farah courthouse, according to Al Jazeera and the BBC News.

It isn’t clear whether any of those on trial were killed in the attack. Officials in Afghanistan said none escaped, while a Taliban official told Reuters that all had escaped, the BBC reports.

“I can confirm that 34 civilians, six army and four policemen have been killed and 91 people, the majority of them civilians, have been injured,” said a spokesman for the interior ministry, in a comment to Agence France-Presse that was reported by Al Jazeera. “Nine attackers have also been killed.”

Two judges reportedly were among at least 90 injured individuals.

The attack reportedly began when an army vehicle blew up near the courthouse, and individuals dressed in soldier uniforms then launched a gun battle involving several buildings. It took approximately six hours before the battle was completely over.

The Associated Press, CNN and the New York Daily News also have stories.

Also see:

Arab Times (March 18): “Suicide attack at Pakistan court kills 4”

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