10 Afghan police officers killed in Taliban attacks in Helmand
Taliban militants in Afghanistan have attacked police checkpoints in the volatile southern portion of the country, killing at least ten officers stationed at the posts.
Afghan officials said Sunday that the police officers were killed in recent Taliban assaults carried out in the southern province of Helmand.
Mohammad Ismail Hotaki, the director of Helmand’s Joint Coordination Office, said the militants attacked ten police checkpoints in Sangin district.
The Afghan official added that three more police officers, who possibly surrendered, have been taken prisoner by the Taliban.
Police checkpoints are considered to be easy targets for gunmen and are frequently attacked by the militants as the vulnerable police officers stationed at these posts are short in staff and often outnumbered by the militants.
Fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban has intensified since the militants launched their so-called annual spring offensive against Afghan forces and foreign embassies on April 24.
Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still witnessing increasing violence.
At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. NATO says they will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.