Taliban attacks kill at least 61 across Afghanistan

KABUL, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Taliban suicide car bombers and gunmen attacked a provincial Afghan police headquarters on Tuesday, killing at least 33 people, including the police chief, and wounding 160, in the deadliest of a series of attacks across the country, officials and militants said.

The attack targeted a police training centre attached to the headquarters in Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, and the death toll was expected to rise.

At least five attackers were also killed, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

RELATED: Photos from the scene of the deadly attack

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Taliban attacks kill at least 61 across Afghanistan
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Taliban attacks kill at least 61 across Afghanistan
Afghan security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack at a police training centre in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, on October 17, 2017. The death toll in an ongoing suicide and gun attack on a police training centre in a southeast Afghan city has risen to 32 with more than 200 wounded, a hospital official said October 17. 'The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,' said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez. / AFP PHOTO / FARID ZAHIR (Photo credit should read FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)
A wounded Afghan man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide attack in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, on October 17, 2017. The death toll in an ongoing suicide and gun attack on a police training centre in a southeast Afghan city has risen to 32 with more than 200 wounded, a hospital official said October 17. 'The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,' said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez. / AFP PHOTO / FARID ZAHIR (Photo credit should read FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack at a police training centre in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, on October 17, 2017. The death toll in an ongoing suicide and gun attack on a police training centre in a southeast Afghan city has risen to 32 with more than 200 wounded, a hospital official said October 17. 'The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,' said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez. / AFP PHOTO / FARID ZAHIR (Photo credit should read FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)
Wounded Afghan men receive treatment at a hospital after a suicide attack in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, on October 17, 2017. The death toll in an ongoing suicide and gun attack on a police training centre in a southeast Afghan city has risen to 32 with more than 200 wounded, a hospital official said October 17. 'The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,' said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez. / AFP PHOTO / FARID ZAHIR (Photo credit should read FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security personnel walk at the site of a suicide attack at a police training centre in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, on October 17, 2017. The death toll in an ongoing suicide and gun attack on a police training centre in a southeast Afghan city has risen to 32 with more than 200 wounded, a hospital official said October 17. 'The hospital is overwhelmed and we call on people to donate blood,' said Shir Mohammad Karimi, deputy health director in Gardez. / AFP PHOTO / FARID ZAHIR (Photo credit should read FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)
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Three officials told Reuters that the provincial police chief was among the dead. Both civilians and security forces were among the casualties, deputy public health director Hedayatullah Hameedi said.

The Taliban, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ouster by U.S.-led forces, claimed responsibility.

The militant group also attacked a district centre in neighbouring Ghazni province on Tuesday, an offensive that included detonating armoured Humvee vehicles packed with explosives near the provincial governor's office.

Provincial officials said at least 15 government security forces were killed and 12 wounded in the Ghazni attacks, with 13 civilians killed and seven wounded.

The Taliban said they had killed 31 security forces and wounded 21 in those clashes. (Additional reporting by Mustafa Andalib in Ghazni; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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