At least five policemen have been killed in a Taliban attack on police checkpoints in southern Afghanistan and the fighting is continuing, provincial officials said Sunday.
The insurgents stormed several checkpoints in the volatile Sangin district of Helmand province.
"Five Afghan police officers were killed and six others were wounded," provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil told AFP.
He said police reinforcements have been sent to repel the Taliban, who also suffered casualties.
Enayatullah Ghafari, the provincial head of public health, said five bodies of police officers were brought to hospital in Lashkar Gah after the overnight clashes, along with eight wounded.
The Taliban in a statement on their website claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they overran three police checkpoints and killed dozens of officers.
The insurgents are known to make exaggerated casualty claims.
The militants launched their spring offensive late last month, marking the start of the first fighting season in which Afghan forces are battling them without the frontline support of US-led foreign troops.
NATO's combat mission formally ended in December but a small follow-up foreign force has stayed on to train and support local police and troops.