Shootout Leaves 18 Police Injured in Afghanistan
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - About 18 police officers were injured after two militants wearing police uniform opened fire inside the provincial police headquarters in Mazar-i- Sharif city, provincial capital of northern Afghan Balkh province on Sunday, sources said.
"A total of 18 wounded policemen were admitted to hospitals in the city. All the injured got gunshot wounds, and five of the injured were in critical condition," head of provincial health department, Dr. Mirwais, told Xinhua.
"The shooting occurred at around launch time in a dining hall. The shooters were also in police uniform," a police official told Xinhua earlier, adding the two attackers were killed following the incident.
The Taliban insurgent group claimed the responsibility for the incident. Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported spokesman for the Taliban, told local media from unknown location that two Taliban fighters launched the shooting, killing several policemen.
The Taliban has intensified attacks over the past couple of months as the NATO and U.S. forces are withdrawing from the country. The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.
In a separate development, two policemen and six Taliban militants were killed and one police and four militants were injured following a security checkpoint skirmish in Chapa Dara district of the eastern Kunar province early Sunday morning, the provincial police chief Habibullah Sayyedkhil told Xinhua.
More than 41,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan. Nearly 29,000 of them are Americans and the United States plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.