Reuters – KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Taliban fighters attacked a district police station in southern Afghanistan’s volatile Kandahar province, killing five men, including a commander, a security official said on Tuesday. The Taliban fighters arrived in four pickup trucks on Monday night and attacked the police station in Ghorak district to the northwest of the city of Kandahar.
“The clash lasted for more than half an hour. The chief police of Ghorak, Sahak Mama, is among the five killed,” said Salim Khan, a provincial intelligence official.
“The Taliban have fled back to their hideouts.”
Two policemen were wounded. It was not known if the attackers had suffered any casualties, Khan said.
Kandahar is the former power base of the Taliban, who were driven from power in a U.S.-led offensive in late 2001.
Taliban fighters have been blamed for a rash of attacks in recent months, many of them in the south, raising fears that the hardline militia was regrouping.
The government and U.S-led forces play down worry of a resurgent Taliban challenging the government but say they are capable of launching raids and bomb attacks.
The U.S. military said it suspected a blast that damaged a car carrying two military personnel near the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Monday evening was caused by a bomb. No one was hurt.
About 100 Afghan government troops and civilians have been killed or wounded in bomb blasts and rocket strikes across southern Afghanistan since the beginning of the year.
Afghan officials say Taliban fighters and their al Qaeda allies are plotting their Afghan raids from the safety of neighboring Pakistan.
Pakistan, which backed the Taliban for years until the September 11 attacks on the United States blamed on al Qaeda, says it does all it can to stop militants crossing back and forth to Afghanistan.