Militants attack Afghan police post, kill 17

Story highlights

  • Attack was in Musa Qala district of Helmand province, a government spokesman says
  • Authorities are investigating, including trying to find out how many militants died in the attack

(CNN)A group of armed insurgents attacked a police post in southern Afghanistan, killing 17 officers and wounding two others, an official said Saturday.

The attack happened around 11 p.m. (2:30 p.m. ET) Friday in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province, according to Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Zwak said investigators have been dispatched to the area to find out more about the incident, including how many insurgents, if any, died in the gunfight.
    Such violence, unfortunately, has plagued Afghanistan for years. Much of it has been spearheaded by the Taliban, the Islamist militant group forced out of power by the U.S.-led invasion following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks but still very much a disruptive force in the Asian nation.
    Many of the Taliban's targets have been police, troops and government workers. Still, it's not the only militant group to make claims: ISIS said it was behind the deaths of at least 33 people in Jalalabad, where a man on a motorbike blew himself up in front of a Kabul Bank branch.
    Still, while the latest attack in Helmand aligns with that history, it was not immediately clear who was behind it.
    This bloodshed has affected many parts of Afghanistan. Earlier this month, militants killed nine aid workers in an attack on a house in Afghanistan's northern Balkh province, according to Abdul Razaq Qaderi, chief of that province's criminal department.
    And in late May, four Taliban fighters were killed after launching an hours-long gun and grenade attack in an upscale district of central Kabul. No civilians or security forces died in that incident, Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi told CNN.
    In Helmand province, a car bomb targeting the governor's compound killed at least seven people and wounded 46 in March, then-Deputy Governor Jan Rasoolyar said.
    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group was responsible for that attack.