Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Taliban claims responsibility for suicide att -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

STEVEN CANNANE, PRESENTER: There's been a series of deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan in
Australian-controlled Uruzgan province tonight.

At least 17 people were killed when three suicide bombers and a group of gunmen attacked official
buildings at a militia base in Tarin Kowt.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks and joining us now from Kabul is the ABC's
Afghanistan correspondent, Sally Sara.

Sally, what is the latest we're hearing?

SALLY SARA, AFGHANISTAN CORRESPONDENT: Well these attacks have gone on for some hours in Tarin
Kowt.

It began with explosions near the office of the deputy governor and then there were also attacks
near the central television radio station and also near the compound of local militia leader
Matiullah Khan.

These explosions were followed by heavy gunfire. There are exchanges of fire between Afghan forces
and the insurgents.

Coalition military helicopters were hovering overhead and Australian and coalition commanders have
been closely monitoring this situation as it's unfolded.

But it's been a very serious attack in Tarin Kowt this afternoon local time.

STEVE CANNANE: Sally, who was the target for these attacks?

SALLY SARA: It's unclear at this stage. The Taliban has claimed responsibility as you've said.

They got into - close to the deputy governor's office and then very close to Matiullah Khan's
office.

He's an important figure and powerbroker in Uruzgan. He's the nephew of Jan Mohammed Khan, an
adviser to president Karzai who was assassinated less than two weeks ago.

So there are a lot of connections between those in power in Afghanistan and this is another very
serious attack.

STEVE CANNANE: As you mentioned there's been a string of attacks on prominent Afghan officials and
figures. What's the connection here?

SALLY SARA: A lot of these attacks have been focused in southern Afghanistan, particularly in
Kandahar.

This attack today in Tarin Kowt not only going after high profile figures but as often happens
tragically it's civilians who are caught in the middle of this.

And there's been a lot of sadness this afternoon with the death of Omid Khpalwak who was a BBC and
Pajhwok journalist and also worked as a freelancer for the ABC gathering material earlier in the
year.

So it's very, very sad as this story's unfolding.

STEVE CANNANE: And Sally, just finally, why would Matiullah Khan be a target?

SALLY SARA: He's a man who has many friends and many enemies. We're yet to establish exactly what
has happened.

These attacks were also close to the state-run media offices as well, so in the next few hours it
will become clear exactly what's happened as the local officials try to get this situation under
control.

STEVE CANNANE: Sally we'll have to leave it there but thanks very much for that update.

Sally Sara in Kabul.