According to Afghan officials, Taliban militants killed at least 11 police officers in a complex attack in Balkh province on Tuesday, October 1. The Taliban targeted a district police headquarters in Shor Tepa district in the early morning (local time), captured 13 police officers and left at least 11 others dead. The attack sparked a lengthy gun fight, and reinforcements have been deployed to the district.
The Taliban incurred an unspecified number of casualties in the assaults.
Similar Taliban attacks targeting security forces are to be expected in Afghanistan over the near term.
Taliban militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are, in part, intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country. This attack was likely a response of the election held on Saturday, September 28, which was Afghanistan's fourth presidential elections since a US-led coalition removed the Taliban from power in 2001. In a statement issued in August, the Taliban had pledged to disrupt polls, denouncing the electoral process as a sham and calling militants to block roads across the country.
Individuals in Balkh province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the affected areas, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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