Nearly a dozen dead in hours-long Sar-i-Pul clashes
SAR-I-PUL (Pajhwok): Nearly a dozen people including police, local police personnel and Taliban militants have been killed during clashes near the capital of northern Sar-i-Pul province, sources said on Sunday.
The clashes in Chesma Shifa area on the outskirts of Sar-i-Pul city broke out after Taliban gunmen attacked a passenger van also carrying a police post commander Juma Khan on Saturday afternoon, the provincial council chief, Maulvi Noor Mohammad Beig, said.
He said Juma Khan was killed along with two friends and four civilians including a woman. Without providing details, Beig said more people suffered casualties after the clash spread to the middle of the village.
A resident of the area, who declined to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban after attacking the passenger vehicle stormed a police post in Baghawa village, triggering a firefight that stretched into midnight.
The villager, who attended funeral prayers for the victims, said the clashes left eleven people dead including three policemen, their two female relatives and four local residents who had offered refuge to the insurgents in their homes. He said one Taliban fighter was wounded in the clashes.
Another source in the area said 17 people suffered casualties in the clashes. He said the dead included four policemen and the remaining dead and wounded were relatives of Taliban and local policemen.
But the Taliban claimed two local police commanders were killed in Saturday’s attack that followed the killing of two civilians by relatives of the slain police personnel, triggering an armed clash between local residents and the police.
In the ensuing clashes, the Taliban claimed, 20 people, including women and children, were killed. They also claimed the local police personnel torched homes of several residents.
Pajhwok tried to seek comment from Interior Ministry and Sar-i-Pul provincial officials, but they could not be contacted.
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