Afghan forces battled for hours against Taliban insurgents who stormed a police headquarters in the northern city of Pul-e-Khumri, after a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car, killing at least 13 people, officials said on Sunday, Trend reported citing Reuters.
A Taliban militant detonated his Humvee vehicle at the entrance of the police office before a group of eight attackers armed with machine guns rushed in the building, two Afghan officials said.
“Thirteen policemen were killed and 35 others injured,” said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman at the Interior Ministry in Kabul, adding that 20 civilians were also wounded.
“The complex attack on Baghlan police headquarters has ended with the death of all nine attackers, including the suicide bomber,” he said.
The Taliban, which is seeking to restore strict Islamic rule and expel foreign forces from Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in a busy area of the city with many other residential and commercial buildings.
Taliban fighters frequently capture U.S.-made armored Humvee vehicles from Afghan forces to load with explosives and use as car bombs to breach military fortifications.
Abdul Aleem Ghafari, deputy provincial health director in Pul-e-Khumri, said women and children were among those killed by the blast.
Sunday’s raid was the latest in a series of high-profile attacks that have killed and wounded hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan this year and put heavy pressure on the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.
13:33 (GMT+4) A Taliban fighter driving a Humvee packed with explosives blew himself up outside a police headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Pul-e-Khumri and other fighters opened fire on security forces there, the Taliban said in a statement on Sunday, Trend reported citing Reuters.
“Several other Taliban fighters are presently clashing with the Afghan forces,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
Government officials in Baghlan province confirmed the explosion in the provincial capital.