- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 26, 2009

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) | Three suicide bombers penetrated the governor’s compound in Afghanistan’s largest southern city Saturday, killing at least five police officers in the latest multi-pronged attack in the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace.

The three bombers were able to get past an initial security checkpoint in the governor’s compound, and one bomber exploded himself at a second checkpoint, said Ahmad Wali Karzai, the president’s brother and the head of Kandahar’s provincial council.

The two other bombers moved deeper into the compound before police fired on them and their explosives detonated, Mr. Karzai said.

Nine people were wounded, hospital officials said. The Kandahar governor was not harmed, but officials were searching for a possible fourth suicide bomber, Mr. Karzai said.

Kandahar, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban, has suffered from several sophisticated attacks in recent years.

Earlier this month, four Taliban suicide bombers disguised in army uniforms detonated a car bomb and stormed a government office, killing 13 people.

Last summer Taliban fighters attacked Kandahar’s prison in a multi-pronged assault that included a suicide truck bomb, a suicide bomber on foot and gunmen freeing the prisoners. About 870 prisoners escaped, including about 400 jailed insurgents.

Analysts say the Taliban is carrying out more sophisticated attacks because of its alliance and training with al Qaeda and Pakistani militants.

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