Taliban attack kills at least 11 police in northern Afghanistan

The Taliban killed at least 11 police officers in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province before burning their headquarters, officials said on Tuesday. 

The insurgent group’s attacks in Balkh’s Shortepa district started on Monday evening and carried into early Tuesday. After taking control of the police headquarters in the district in a gun battle, the Taliban set fire to it, said Munir Farhad, spokesman for Balkh’s provincial governor. 

Afghan National Defense and Security Forces retook the police headquarters after reinforcements arrived. 

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group killed 30 police in the district. It posted a video online that it said depicted the police headquarters engulfed in flames, and guns that it had seized. 

The Taliban have also clashed with Afghan forces in three districts of Takhar province since Saturday, and fighting continued on Tuesday in Baharak, one of the districts, said Jawad Hejri, spokesman for the provincial governor. 

Taliban attacks in Balkh and Takhar provinces reflect the group’s effort to fortify its strength in the north, where it already holds a stronghold in Kunduz province.

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