KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, (AP) -Two bomb blasts 15 minutes apart killed 10 police Thursday, an official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks.
The first blast — a remote control bomb targeting a police vehicle — killed four officers, said Gul Zaman, a police official.
About 15 minutes later, a secondary blast hit police attending to the wreckage of the first bomb, killing another six police and wounding five, Zaman said.
An Associated Press reporter was among the journalists at the scene when the second blast went off, bloodying some officers who began shouting and carrying bodies away in the chaos.
Kandahar has seen such double-attacks before — a tactic often used by insurgents in Iraq — but they are still comparatively rare in Afghanistan.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, said the attack was planned to target police responding to the blast.
“First we set off a remote control explosion on a police vehicle, then we were waiting for the police to arrive on the scene, then we did a second blast,” Ahmadi said by satellite phone from an undisclosed location.
The blasts came less than a week after Taliban field commander Mullah Dadullah was killed during a U.S.-led operation in neighboring Helmand province.
The Taliban have warned of “bad consequences” if the government didn’t hand over Dadullah’s body to his relatives. Kandahar’s governor has said that Dadullah was buried at a secret location near Kandahar.
About 1,800 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press count based on U.S., NATO and Afghan officials.
In the usually quiet north, where militant violence is rare, a roadside bomb hit the car of the Badakhshan provincial police chief as he was going to work Thursday, killing one of his bodyguards and wounding the chief and three other guards, said deputy governor Sham-sul Rahman.