7 police, 3 militants killed in clashes in Afghanistan’s northern province

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Seven police officers and three militants were killed and five policemen and three militants wounded following fierce clashes in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province overnight, local police said Saturday.

“Taliban militants attacked a security checkpoint with guns and rocket launchers in Surkh Bital area of Qalay-i-Zal district of Kunduz province, triggering a fighting lasting for hours,” Inamuddin Rahmani, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua.

Among those militants killed was Qari Jalal who served as a divisional commander of Taliban’s Sara Keta or special force in Kunduz, he said.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, told local media that insurgent’s fighters killed at least seven police offiers and wounded five others without commenting on casualties on their side in the incident.

Violence has been on the rise as Afghan security forces struggle against a surge in attacks by militants at a time when the country is preparing for parliamentary and district councils elections slated for later this month.

During the Oct. 20 elections, nearly nine million registered voters, including three million women, will cast their ballots to elect members of the 249-seat lower house of parliament for a five-year term while they will also vote to elect members of the district councils.

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