At least 20 people were injured after a Taliban suicide bomber drove an explosives-packed Humvee into the police headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Pul-e-Khumri, blowing himself up, Afghan officials and the Taliban said on Sunday May 5th.
Many armed Taliban fighters entered the police headquarters after the blast and opened fire on security forces stationed there.
"Clashes have not stopped. 20 injured people were taken to hospital from the blast site," said Assadullah Shahbaz, a member of the Baghlan provincial council, adding they have sought immediate deployment from neighbouring provinces.
According to Reuters, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the "big blast" and the clashes with the Afghan forces.
"Several other Taliban fighters are presently clashing with the Afghan forces," Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said.
Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman at the interior ministry in Kabul, said the Afghan forces gunned down a Taliban fighter who tried to enter the police headquarters, but several Taliban fighters penetrated the offices.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks on security installations to demoralise Afghan police and troops, even as they are holding direct talks with US officials to end the war in Afghanistan. Intense fighting continues across the country with the Taliban controlling or influencing more territory than at any point since their ousting at the hands of US-led troops following the September 11th, 2001, attacks on the United States.