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At least 13 dead, dozens injured in Taliban attack on police HQ

Villagers, Afghan National Police and coalition special operations forces members sit along with elders and Afghan Local Police during a shura in Pul-e Khumri district, Baghlan province, Afghanistan, Feb. 10, 2012. The shura provided an opportunity for ANP, ALP, Afghan National Army commandos and local leaders to work closely together with one another. (SPC Robin Davis/Department of Defense)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

At least 13 people have been killed in a Taliban attack by the Taliban on a police headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Pul-e-Khumri, officials say.

The Interior Ministry said that the May 5 attack in Baghlan Province’s capital began with a suicide car bomber striking the entrance to the compound and eight gunmen rushing in after the explosion.

The ministry said that 13 police officers were killed and another 55 people, including 20 civilians, were wounded before the attackers were all killed in an hours-long gunbattle.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault, which comes two days after an Afghan grand council convened by President Ashraf Ghani ended with a demand for an immediate cease-fire.

The council, known as a Loya Jirga, brought together more than 3,200 politicians, tribal elders, prominent figures, and others to hammer out a shared strategy for future negotiations with the Taliban.

In a statement on May 3, the Taliban rejected a cease-fire, saying attacks will continue during Ramadan.

The militant group, which has been holding direct talks with U.S. officials to end the nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan, has rejected cease-fire proposals, saying U.S. and NATO troops must withdraw from the country first.