An Afghan official says 18 police went missing when the Taliban seized a remote district in the northwestern Faryab province.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said Tuesday that the district police chief and 17 of his men have not been heard from since Monday. He says insurgents seized Ghormach district on Sunday.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, said they detained the district police chief, who was wounded in battle, along with 13 other police.
Sediqqi says reinforcements have been sent to the province and First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former warlord with no formal position in the military, will coordinate operations there.
The Taliban are challenging Afghan forces on many fronts following the conclusion of the international combat mission last year.