Twenty Reported Killed in Afghan Suicide Attack

Kabul, Afghanistan – Twenty people were killed in a suicide attack Sunday on the governor’s compound in Chaharikar in the central province of Parwan, Afghan officials said.

The incident was the latest in a series of attacks in what had been the quiet provinces neighboring Kabul Province, and comes as American officials weigh where to pull out the first of 10,000 troops that were part of the earlier surge.

Such regions have had scant a presence of American troops, and are candidates for the second stage of the transition of territory from NATO to Afghan control, which is now scheduled for next month.

Sunday’s attack involved six suicide bombers, the first in a vehicle that exploded at the gates to the Parwan government compound, opening a breach through which the other five bombers entered, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Seddiq Seddiqi, said. Mr. Seddiqi put the death toll at 19, but officials at the scene said 20 died in all, 6 police officers, 4 members of the governor’s staffers, and 10 civilians who had been in the waiting room at the governor’s office.

In addition, 35 were wounded, many seriously.

Using small arms and grenades, the bombers apparently tried to reach the building housing the governor’s office, but were stopped by police and then detonated their suicide vests. The governor was unhurt.

Sangar Rahimi contributed reporting