Dozens of Taliban rebels stormed police posts in the remote northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan overnight, killing four officers and capturing at least 16 others, an official said Thursday.
Two policemen were injured and three others were missing after an intense battle in the mountainous province’s Wardaj district, on a lawless pass to neighbouring Pakistan, deputy provincial governor, Shamsul Rahman Shams said.
“A big number of the Taliban carried out the attacks. The police were overpowered,” he told AFP from the provincial capital town of Faizabad.
“Sixteen police were captured by the Taliban and taken away. Three others are also missing but we don’t know what has happened to them,” Shams said.
The rebels seized two police trucks and a quantity of ammunition.
Afghanistan’s security forces, including about 170,000 police, are being trained, equipped and largely paid by a US-led NATO military coalition that has about 130,000 troops fighting the Taliban.
Mostly American, the force is scheduled to withdraw by the end of 2014 and hand over all security responsibilities to local forces. When the troops leave Afghanistan will have a total police and army force of 352,000.
Compared to their army counterparts, Afghan police are undertrained and underequipped and suffer more casualties in Taliban attacks.