Skip to main content

44 killed in 9-hour firefight at Afghan government buildings

By Ben Brumfield and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
updated 7:55 PM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Militants are dressed like government soldiers
  • Insurgents began the attack with explosives
  • Afghan government forces engaged the insurgents
  • At least 44 people were killed in nine-hour firefight

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Insurgents wearing Afghan National Army uniforms killed at least 44 people and wounded nearly 100 others Wednesday in a nearly nine-hour attack on Afghan government buildings in the southwestern province of Farah, said Mohammad Akram Ekhpelwak, the province's governor.

The firefight has ended. Of the dead, 34 are civilians and 10 are Afghan security forces, according to Ekhpelwak. Nine armed attackers are dead, he added.

The attackers drove army vehicles to gain access to the area, said police chief Noor Agha Kantoz.

Afghanistan: 52 Taliban members killed in one day

Inside a firefight with the Taliban

The militants began their attack by detonating a vehicle laden with explosives, said Abdul Rahman Ezhwandai, a spokesman for the governor.

The blast wrecked the targeted buildings and others nearby in the capital city of Farah. The main targets appeared to be the courthouse and the attorney general's office.

Kantoz said that two suicide attackers detonated explosives while storming the buildings.

Soldiers from the Afghan National Army engaged the enemy, killing at least two, he said. They continue to battle fighters who have taken cover in the courthouse.

The wounded have been taken to a local hospital, Ekhpelwak said.

CNN's Masoud Popalzai reported from Kabul; CNN's Ben Brumfield reported from Atlanta.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
A year ago, 1,000 garment workers died in the collapse of Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. Here's a look at what has changed since then.
updated 12:53 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Focus is on the fish as U.S. President starts tour with visit to legendary Tokyo restaurant.
updated 1:23 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Fireworks are fantastic and human endeavor has its place, but sometimes Mother Nature outshines any performance we can produce.
updated 11:06 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In 1987, China sent its very first email. Here's what it said,
updated 10:13 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
The world's new fastest elevator will fling you from earth to the 95th floor before you're done reading this article.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In one U.S. state, a new bill will allow ordinary citizens to carry guns in all sorts of places. Does it make you feel safer?
updated 10:10 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
In South Korea, volunteer divers are risking their lives to rescue victims of the sunken ferry.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
Park Jee Young, 22, helped passengers escape as the Sewol ferry sank -- giving out life jackets while refusing to wear one herself.
updated 12:43 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
What did outgoing manager David Moyes get wrong in his six months with English Premier League football team Manchester United?
updated 1:36 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here are 15 of the world's most amazing theaters.
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
CNN exclusive: Australian officials are hammering out a new agreement for widening the Flight 370 search area.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Malaysian officials sent to brief Chinese families are armed with little to no information.
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
When a team of Indian surgeons opened up the stomach of a 63-year-old man, they had no idea they'd extract a fortune.
updated 3:01 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Do these photos CNN of gun-toting men wearing green uniforms prove Russian forces are in eastern Ukraine?
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
If the Duchess wears it, then your fashion career is sorted for life.
updated 1:29 PM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT