District police chief killed in Afghan Taliban pre-dawn attack

A district police chief was killed and three police officers wounded after Taliban militants launched a pre-dawn attack on a district headquarters in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province on Wednesday, a local government official said.

“Maj. Qalaumuddin, police chief of Chahar Bolak district, was martyred during clashes with Taliban militants early Wednesday morning,” provincial government spokesman Munir Ahmad Farhad told Xinhua.

According to the official, the clashes started roughly at 4:00 a.m. local time Wednesday after militants armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) attacked Chahar Bolak district center from separate locations.

“The security fought back the attackers and three district police officers were also wounded during the fighting,” Farhad noted, adding that the injured were shifted to a district hospital after the fighting.

Several militants were also killed and wounded during the gun battle, but their number could not be exactly specified as the militants evacuated their casualties, he said.

The Taliban militants, controlling parts of the mountainous province, use rugged terrains and mountains as hideouts and frequently launch hit-and-run attacks against the security forces.

Violence has escalated in the previously peaceful northern region over a past few years as Afghan security forces push against the militants in the southern and eastern regions.