At least 11 Afghan police killed in Taliban attack

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 01 2019 04:45 PM

Afghan security forces take position during a battle with the Taliban in Kunduz province, Afghanistan September 1, 2019. Reuters/Stringer/File

BALKH, Afghanistan - At least 11 policemen were killed and over a dozen captured Tuesday when Taliban fighters stormed their headquarters in northern Afghanistan, officials said.

A column of more than 400 Taliban fighters on motorbikes attacked Shortepa district police headquarters in Balkh province in the early hours, triggering a lengthy gunfight, provincial spokesman Munir Farhad told AFP. 

"Eleven policemen were killed in the attack. The Taliban also suffered heavy losses," he said. 

Karim Khan, the Shortepa district chief, told AFP the Taliban had captured 13 other policemen and set the headquarters' buildings on fire before leaving the area.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility, saying their fighters had overrun the district. 

The attack comes days after millions of Afghans went to the polls to vote for their next president, despite hundreds of Taliban bombings and small-scale attacks at polling stations.

But officials have praised the Afghan security forces for preventing the Taliban from conducting any large-scale attacks.