The day after the Pakistani Taliban attacked an army school, killing 148 people, mostly children, a group of militants stormed a bank in neighboring Afghanistan today, leaving at least five dead.
Omer Zawaj, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, told the Associated Press that four suicide bombers entered a branch of the New Kabul Bank in Lashkah Gar.
The official said that one of the attackers set off his explosives at the entrance, allowing the other militants to enter, which quickly led to a standoff with authorities.
Dramatic footage has appeared which appears to show a fierce battle between the fighters and security forces, which took place after the initial assault. Zawaj said five people were killed in this gunfight.
Video via Facebook/Feroz Ghaznawe.
Aslan Nawaz, the chief doctor at Lashkah Gar's main hospital, told the AP that his staff admitted more than 20 injured people and five bodies.
Initial reports suggested that Afghan soldiers were in the bank withdrawing their salaries at the time of the attacks.
Helmand blast updates: the bombers targeted Kabul bank after army soldiers visited to collect their salaries - stand off underway.
— Esmatullah Kohsar (@EKohsar)December 17, 2014
Other images showed the scene and a fire in the building in the aftermath of the attacks.