- U.N. official calls the attack a "tragedy"
- A truck full of explosives blew up in front a U.N. compound, local officials say
- An hours-long gunbattle followed the blast
- Afghan security forces kill four assailants, officials say
Ten people were killed Monday in a suicide bombing outside a U.N. compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan, officials said.
Three employees working for the U.N. Refugee Agency were killed in the attack, as well as two Afghan civilians and an Afghan National Police officer, according to officials. In addition, four assailants were killed, according to a press release from the local Kandahar government.
Five others were injured, Afghan officials said.
The attack began when a truck full of explosives blew up near the U.N. compound, according to the government release. The massive blast, which shattered the windows of buildings surrounding the compound, was followed by an hours-long gunbattle with police, who prevented the insurgents from breaching the compound.
The U.N. Refugee Agency is "seeking a fuller understanding of the circumstances of today's attack. Nevertheless the fact remains that people working for us have been wounded and killed and the functioning of our Kandahar office seriously disrupted," according to a statement from the group.
Gen. Hamid Wardag, a local commander of the Afghan National Army, attributed the attack to the Taliban.
"This is a tragedy for UNHCR and for the families of the dead and wounded," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement. "It also underscores the great risks for humanitarian workers in Afghanistan."
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul also expressed its condolences to the families of the victims.
Kandahar province has seen a rash of recent violence.
On Thursday, insurgents launched attacks on a Provincial Reconstruction Team base and a military outpost, Afghan and NATO officials said.
Insurgents fired small guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) toward the Provincial Reconstruction Team, said Agha Lali, a member of the Kandahar provincial council. Officials killed two of the attackers, according to a regional police chief.
And on October 22, three U.S. service members were killed when an improvised explosive device blew up near their assault force.