0810 GMT February 26, 2020
The militant group’s attacks in Balkh’s Shortepa district started on Monday evening and carried into early Tuesday. After taking control of the police headquarters in the district in a gun battle, the Taliban set fire to it, said Munir Farhad, spokesman for Balkh’s provincial governor, Reuters reported.
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces retook the police headquarters after reinforcements arrived.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group killed 30 police in the district. It posted a video online that it said depicted the police headquarters engulfed in flames, and guns that it had seized.
Afghan police have in recent years borne the brunt of Taliban attacks and are one of their primary targets.
Fighting has remained intense in Afghanistan since US-Taliban talks about withdrawing American troops collapsed last month. On Saturday, Taliban attacks and threats of violence scared away many voters from presidential election.
The Taliban have also clashed with Afghan forces in three districts of Takhar Province since Saturday, and fighting continued on Tuesday in Baharak, one of the districts, said Jawad Hejri, spokesman for the provincial governor.
Taliban attacks in Balkh and Takhar Provinces reflect the group’s effort to fortify its strength in the north, where it already holds a stronghold in Kunduz Province.