KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters attacked a remote central Afghan town on Wednesday and occupied a district police headquarters after a battle drove out security forces, police said.
The militants took control of the police compound in the Uruzgan province town of Chora around dawn Wednesday, after hours of fighting with 100 police inside the headquarters, said Rozi Khan, the regional police chief.
The militants left the compound by late morning after torching police vehicles, but fighters remained in the area and police weren't immediately returning to Chora, Khan said, citing witnesses in the town.
"If our police go there, they'll be ambushed," Khan said by phone from the region.
Khan said no police were wounded in the battle. He had no details on militant casualties.
In a separate incident, suspected Taliban fighters fired a grenade at a police vehicle Wednesday in southeastern Zabul province, killing the provincial deputy police chief and injuring three police officers, officials said.
The police deputy chief, Ghulam Rasool, was driving through the area to warn of an impending militant attack on police posts when his vehicle was hit by a rock-propelled grenade near Qalat city, regional government spokesman Ali Khail said.
In recent weeks, Afghanistan has seen some of the deadliest fighting since the ouster of the Taliban regime in late 2001. Militants have stepped up attacks, particularly in the south, drawing a fierce response from coalition and Afghan forces.
About 400 people, mostly militants, have been reported killed in attacks or fighting in the past two weeks, according to coalition and Afghan figures.