October 31, 2011 | FDD’s Long War Journal

Suicide Assault Team kills 5 People in Attack on UN Office in Kandahar

A Taliban suicide assault team killed five people in an attack on a United Nations headquarters in the capital of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The attack is the second of its kind in Kandahar city in five days.

A four-man suicide assault team armed with assault rifles and a truck packed with explosives attacked the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Kandahar city earlier today. A suicide bomber rammed the truck into an outer wall of the UNHCR compound and detonated the explosives. The blast tore a hole in the outer wall, allowing the three remaining attackers to enter the compound and seize control of a building.

Afghan and Coalition forces engaged the remaining Taliban fighters for more than two hours before killing them. The UNHCR said three of their employees were killed and two were wounded during the fighting. Brigadier General Abdul Razaq, the provincial chief of police, said that four Afghan security guards and a district police chief were killed during the fighting.

The Taliban claimed credit for the suicide assault. On their website, the Voice of Jihad, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the attack was carried out by “martyrdom seeking Mujahideen.” Ahmadi claimed that a police commander and “21 other foreign and hireling troops have been killed.”

Today's attack in Kandahar is the second in the province in four days. On Oct. 27, four Taliban fighters occupied a building next to the Provincial Reconstruction Team base and opened fire. The Taliban fighters were killed after an eight-hour-long fight fight. One Afghan was also killed.

Both suicide assaults in Kandahar were likely carried out by the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz, or the Mullah Dadullah Front, a radical Taliban subgroup based in the south that is closely linked to al Qaeda. The Mullah Dadullah Front has adopted al Qaeda's tactics and ideology, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal in December 2010. The Taliban faction is led by Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has since been promoted as the Taliban's top military commander and co-leader of the Taliban's Quetta Shura. The terror group has executed numerous high-profile suicide attacks and assaults as well as assassinations in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, and Uruzgan.

The Taliban also carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Kabul over the weekend. A Taliban suicide bomber killed five Coalition soldiers and eight contractors in an attack on an armored bus as it traveled to a training base in the capital.

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Afghanistan International Organizations