Officials said 15 members of the Afghan security forces were unaccounted for on Monday after Taliban seized control of a district centre in Afghanistan’s western Farah province.
Farid Bakhtawar, a provincial council member from Farah, said the police headquarters and the district governor’s office both fell to the Taliban after heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and the militants during the night.
Bakhtawar said around 300 Taliban took part in the offensive, which started around midnight, and that around 15 members of the Afghan security forces were missing.
“There is no word on whether these people have been killed, wounded or escaped the area,” he said.
Local television station 1TV reported that at least 10 police officers, including the chief of police, were killed in the Taliban attack.
Jamila Amini, another provincial council member from the district, said that the police chief and four of his men had been injured and that fierce fighting was still ongoing in the north of the district where an Afghan army base is located.
The attack came just days after 18 Afghan security force officers, including eight members of the Afghan special forces and 10 policemen, were killed in an overnight Taliban attack during a joint operation in the same province.
Farah is one of the most heavily fought-over provinces in Afghanistan.
According to Afghan military figures, the Taliban are said to control or influence at least 14.3 per cent of the country while other sources put that figure higher.