Taliban Overrun Government Offices and Kill Two Top Officials

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents overran a government headquarters in southeastern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing a district governor and at least six guards, officials said.

Mohammad Arif Noori, a spokesman for the governor of Ghazni Province, said that Taliban insurgents attacked the government compound of Khwaja Umari district. The district governor, Ali Dost Shams, 30, and six of his guards were killed.

Mr. Noori said the attackers used heavy weapons and destroyed the district government building, killing all but four of the guards on duty in the early morning hours.

The district is the basic unit of local governance in Afghanistan, which has about 400 districts nationwide.

Ghulam Sakhi Amar, a member of the Ghazni Provincial Council, put the death toll on the government side at 20. He said that 14 people including the governor were killed in the district itself, and that the Taliban then ambushed a relief force as it was leaving the provincial capital of Ghazni City, killing six police officers.

He said the Taliban forces set buildings on fire but left the area by daylight.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack, which he said killed 20 police officers. He did not mention the governor.

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