Taliban attack hits police HQ in northern Afghanistan, kills over dozen
Iran Press TV
Sun May 5, 2019 01:05PM
At least thirteen people have been killed and scores injured in an attack by the Taliban militant group on the police headquarters in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan Province.
The casualties were caused after a militant driving a Humvee packed with explosives rammed the vehicle into the police compound in Pul-e-Khumri district of the province.
Local Afghan officials said armed assailants then entered the police headquarters and opened fire on the security forces stationed there.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi was quoted by AFP as saying that 13 police officers were killed in the attack, with another 35 wounded. .
Rahimi said several Taliban fighters managed to enter into the police headquarters, adding that eight attackers were also killed while 20 civilians were wounded.
Assadullah Shahbaz, a member of the Baghlan provincial council, told Reuters that clashes were ongoing and that the council had sought immediate deployment of security forces from neighboring provinces.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the "big blast" and the ongoing clashes with the Afghan forces.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks on security installations in their so-called spring offensive even as they are holding direct talks with the United States on a potential end to the war in Afghanistan.
On Friday, the Taliban rejected a call by the US's chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad to lay down their arms.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 over the claim that the then-Taliban regime was harboring al-Qaeda terrorists, responsible for the 9/11 attacks inside the US. Some 18 years on, the US-led forces remain bogged down in the Asian country.
By negotiating with the Taliban, the US may be exploring a potential face-saving exit from the war, now the longest in US history. The talks do not include the incumbent Afghan government.
The Taliban reportedly control or influence more territory than ever since the US-led invasion.
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