Local officials from Baghlan said the death toll from the Taliban’s complex attack on the police headquarters in Pul-e-Khumri city has risen to 20, with 18 of the victims members of the Afghan National Police (ANP).
On Sunday, the police headquarters of Pul-e-Khumri city in the northern Baghlan province faced a complex attack by a group of eight gunmen at around 12pm on Sunday, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
Provincial health officials said that at least 60 people among them women and children were wounded in the attack.
The attack started with a car bomb explosion outside the police headquarters and was followed by at least six hours of gunbattle between the attackers and the militants.
The Ministry of Interior said the attackers were equipped with suicide vests and that all of them were killed by the Special Unit of Police.
“First, they carried out a suicide attack with a Humvee full of explosives from the northern gate of the police headquarters,” said Abbas Tawakoli, the commander of 3rd Brigade of 217 Pamir Army Corps.
“Most of them fled, but some others got bullets while escaping the scene and some others were stuck inside the rooms and were martyred,” said an Afghan solider speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Fear from Allah and the prophet and the Ramadhan. Why are you doing this?” asked a Pul-e-Khumri resident, referring to the Taliban.
The attack was condemned by the government. President Ghani called it a heinous crime and a terror act.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in a tweet on Monday said that the Taliban attack in Baghlan “highlights the truth that a crime network has no cause and no conviction other than a vandal’s desire to violence and destruction”.
“Never will we allow the crime network to return through the backdoor in the name of peace,” Abdullah added.
Taliban claimed the responsibility for the attack and claimed that a suicide bomber detonated a Humvee full of explosives at the beginning of the attack.
This comes as Taliban members are conducting talks with US negotiators in Doha to find a political settlement for the ongoing war in Afghanistan.