Kabul, March 6 (IANS) At least 16 people were killed on Wednesday as militants attacked a private construction firm in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city, officials said.
“The attack on MQ building company, located close to Nangarhar airport, began at around 5 a.m. and lasted for over five hours,” said Attaullah Khogyanai, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial Governor’s office.
“Sixteen employees of the company were martyred and nine more were injured”, Khogyanai said, adding that five militants were also killed, Efe news reported.
Two of the nine injured were in a critical condition.
Security forces were still working to clear the scene of the attack of any potential remaining explosives and to root out any more militants who may be hiding, but there was no further “armed resistance” in the area, Khogyanai said.
A car laden with explosives that the attackers drove to the MQ headquarters, two suicide vests and several improvised explosive devices were also seized and destroyed by the security forces, according to the report.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack which occurred around 10 km east of Jalalabad city, capital of the province of the same name where both Taliban and the Islamic State groups are present.
Although Khogyanai did not provide further details about the construction firm, a member of the provincial council, Zabihullah Zmarai, told Efe news that the company was “providing construction services in Nangarhar airport” located nearby.
The US troops in the area are also based near the airport, Zmarai said, adding that there were no reports of any foreigners working for the company.