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Taliban offensive kills 5 policemen in northern Afghanistan

An Afghan official says that five policemen were killed and another six were wounded in a fierce battle with the Taliban after the insurgents launched a three-pronged push in the northern Baghlan province.

Police official Amir Gul Hussainkhil says the police repelled the Taliban assault in Baghlan's Jaded district on Tuesday but that the fighting was intense and is still underway in some areas.

The Taliban, meanwhile, claimed in a statement that they killed several members of the Afghan security forces and wounded 36. Insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

Provincial council chief Asadullah Shabaz says the road between Baghlan and neighboring Kunduz province remains closed because of the fighting. Local schools and markets are also closed. He says several houses have been damaged and hundreds of residents have been relocated.