HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) – Dozens of armed Taliban militants stormed a police post in southwestern Afghanistan overnight, killing five policemen, an official said Sunday.
The post, manned by a small number of policemen, was overpowered after the rebels attacked it near the town of Farah in the remote province of the same name, said Mohammad Younus Rasouli, deputy provincial governor.
“A large number of Taliban attacked one of our police posts late last night. We lost five policemen in that attack,” Rasouli told AFP.
He said the attackers, believed to be in their dozens, fled after reinforcements were sent to the area. An operation to hunt down the militants was under way, the official said.
The Taliban also suffered some casualties, Rasouli said, but could not give a figure.
“According to intelligence reports we received from the area, foreign terrorists like Pakistanis and Arabs were also among the attackers,” he said.
It was the latest in an increasingly bloody insurgency being waged by the remnants of the Taliban, an ultra-conservative militant group which is trying to topple the US-backed government in Kabul.
The Taliban were in power between 1996 and 2001 before being toppled in a US-led offensive launched to kill and capture Al-Qaeda leaders then sheltered by Taliban.
The insurgency has gained pace in recent years, prompting the United States and its Western allies to boost their military efforts by sending thousands of extra troops.