Taliban attack kills at least 11 policemen – Afghan officials

The Taliban launched a multi-pronged attack on a district headquarters in a remote district in northern Afghanistan early on Tuesday, killing at least 11 policemen and triggering a gunbattle that was still under way hours later, officials said.

The attack on the Shortepa district headquarters in northern Balkh province started early in the morning, according to Munir Ahmad Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents had overrun the district, a claim that Farhad denied. The spokesman said reinforcements were on their way to Shortepa.

The district is very remote, said Mohammad Afzel Hadid, head of the Balkh provincial council, adding that he fears the casualty toll could rise further unless reinforcement arrives promptly.

“I hope reinforcements arrive sooner rather than later, it is a remote area with very poor communications,” he said.

There were at least 68 attacks by the Taliban across the country during election day, most of them rockets fired from distant outposts.

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