Tal­iban claims attack on po­lice

At least 17 Afghan of­fi­cers are killed in a night­time as­sault on a Hel­mand check­point.

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD - By Ali M. Lat­ifi Lat­ifi is a spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent

KABUL, Afghanistan — An overnight attack on a check­point in south­ern Afghanistan killed at least 17 mem­bers of the na­tional po­lice, of­fi­cials said Satur­day.

The Tal­iban claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the attack, which be­gan late Fri­day in Hel­mand prov­ince’s Musa Qala dis­trict, long a strong­hold of the in­sur­gents.

“Antigov­ern­ment forces” con­verged on the check­point, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the pro­vin­cial gover­nor, with dozens of fighters par­tic­i­pat­ing in an as­sault that lasted un­til early Satur­day.

Zwak said two po­lice of­fi­cers were also wounded. An Afghan of­fi­cial quoted by the As­so­ci­ated Press in an early re­port said at least 20 po­lice of­fi­cers died and the Tal­iban claimed that 21died.

Musa Qala, in north­east Hel­mand, has been the site of some of the fiercest fight­ing of the Afghan con­flict be­tween the Tal­iban and NATO forces, pri­mar­ily U.S. Marines and Bri­tish sol­diers.

The Afghan Na­tional Se­cu­rity Forces recorded more than 2,300 dead and 4,500 in­jured in the first five months of the year, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by NATO.

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