At least 11 security personnel were killed Monday in a Taliban-claimed attack on a rural office of the Afghan intelligence agency, officials said.
Insurgents said a suicide bomber detonated a device in a car near the National Security Directorate (NDS) while gunmen rushed into the building in the northern city of Aybak.
Abdul Latif Ibrahimi, governor of Samangan province, told AFP that 11 people were killed and 63 others, mainly civilians, injured in the explosion and the gunfire.
The attack, which lasted nearly four hours, ended after the security forces killed three armed men, said the governor’s spokesman, Sediq Azizi.
“It was a huge explosion that shattered all of our windows,” said witness Haseeb, who gave only one name, a government worker who works near the NDS complex.
“Many people have been injured by flying pieces of glass.”
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the “terrorist attack” and urged the Taliban to renounce violence as the insurgents and the government prepare to enter into peace talks.
“The use of violence and murder of the people to gain concessions in the talks is the worst approach the Taliban has taken,” Ghani said in a statement released by his office.
In recent months, the Taliban have carried out almost daily attacks on Afghan forces despite their agreement with talks with Kabul aimed at ending the protracted conflict.
At least 19 members of the security forces were killed in two separate attacks by the Taliban on Sunday, officials said.
A group of 12 soldiers and police were killed in a seven-hour battle with Taliban fighters who attacked their outpost in the northern province of Kunduz, Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, said the head of the provincial council.
Taliban forces have regularly attacked security forces in the northern province, often attempting to enter the city of Kunduz, which has briefly fallen twice before militants in recent years.
In the second attack on Sunday evening in northeastern Badakhshan, seven police officers were killed in fighting with the Taliban, said Nik Mohammad, spokesman for the governor.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the two attacks in Kunduz and Badakhshan.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)