Militants Kill Afghan Soldiers in 2 Attacks

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents intensified pressure on Afghan security forces on Sunday, killing five Afghan Army training officers in a suicide attack in Kabul and attacking an army recruiting center in the northern city of Kunduz. At least four Afghan soldiers and four police officers were killed in the Kunduz assault in a firefight that lasted more than 12 hours, government officials said.

In the Kabul attack, two insurgents armed with AK-47s and grenades opened fire on a bus carrying the army trainers around 8:10 a.m. One of the attackers ran into the bus and blew himself up, killing five officers and wounding nine others, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The attack occurred on the main road between Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad. The road has been the site of many similar attacks on NATO vehicles and supply trucks on their way to nearby coalition and Afghan military bases, but the bombing broke pace with what had been a relatively calm year in the capital.
“The operation ended just now,” Gen. Abdul Rahman Aqtash, the deputy police chief of Kunduz Province, said moments after gunfire stopped. “We took control of the building. We cleared the building. We found the bullet-riddled bodies of two suicide bombers inside the building.” Officials said at least four Afghan soldiers and four police officers had been killed in the fighting. There were no immediate reports on civilian casualties.

An employee of The New York Times contributed reporting from Kunduz, Afghanistan; Taimoor Shah from Kandahar, Afghanistan; and Judy Dempsey from Berlin.