At least seven Afghan police killed in ambush: Officials

Smoke rises in the sky after a suicide car bomb attack in Kunduz province February 10, 2015.

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan - At least seven policemen were killed on Thursday in an ambush in northern Afghanistan, provincial officials said, highlighting the challenges facing local forces battling the Taliban without NATO combat help.

Up to 30 attackers ambushed the policemen in Kunduz province as they were travelling to neighbouring Takhar province to collect their salaries, Nasruddin Khan, Dashti Archi district governor told AFP.

Khan said three national police, and four from a local police force were killed. Sunatullah Taimor, the Takhar provincial governor's spokesman, confirmed the incident to AFP.

Though no group claimed responsibility for the attack, Afghanistan remains plagued by a Taliban insurgency more than 13 years after the militant group was ousted from power by a US-led coalition.

In February, Taliban insurgents killed six policemen in Maiwand district of southern Kandahar province after luring them to an abandoned building by setting off a bomb.

NATO ended its combat mission in late December, leaving a residual force to carry on a training and support mission to Afghanistan's 350,000 security forces, who now lead the fight against the Taliban.

Afghanistan's security forces have been battling a growing Taliban insurgency, and this year they face a tough test as they fight the resilient Taliban insurgents on their own without the help of international combat troops.

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