A pre-dawn Taliban attack in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 13 government forces.
Officials reported the heavily armed insurgents raided a police outpost in the Khan Abad district of troubled Kunduz province.
The district police chief, Hayatullah Amiri, confirmed the death toll to VOA, saying 14 police personnel were guarding the post at the time. One officer managed to escape, and the assailants took away weapons, ammunition and an armored military vehicle, Amiri added.
The Taliban swiftly took credit for the attack, claiming ensuing clashes killed 17 Afghan police personnel, including their commander, and left an insurgent fighter dead. The Taliban said the insurgents also captured the security outpost.
Taliban spokespeople often issue inflated battlefield gains.
Sunday’s attack came a day after Afghan officials confirmed separate insurgent attacks in the eastern Ghazni province killed at least nine police personnel.
October has seen repeated insurgent raids against government forces across Afghanistan, leaving scores dead.
The deadliest attack was Oct. 17 in the eastern province of Paktia where Taliban suicide assault groups stormed police headquarters and killed as many as 60 security forces, including the provincial police chief.
A day after that deadly raid, Taliban insurgents led by a suicide car bomber assaulted an Afghan military base in southern Kandahar province, killing 43 officers and almost wiping out the facility.
Suicide bombers also struck two Afghan mosques on Oct. 20, killing at least 72 worshipers. One of the attacks, the deadliest one, targeted a crowded Shi’ite mosque in Kabul, and Islamic State claimed responsibility.
On Oct. 21, a Taliban suicide car bomber killed 15 cadets just outside the main military academy in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Afghan forces backed by increased U.S. airpower have also stepped up attacks against insurgents, who are in control of an estimated 40 percent territory of Afghanistan and continue to make battlefield advances. The intensified hostilities in 2017 have also witnessed record levels of Afghan civilian casualties, according to the United Nations.