efe-epaKabul

At least 15 people were killed and 83 injured in a Taliban attack on police headquarters in the Afghan city of Kandahar.

A group of heavily armed militants attacked the site with a car bomb explosion at the gate and then started firing at security forces on Thursday, according to local authorities.

"Unfortunately, we have 11 people killed, including two policemen and nine civilians and another 83 injured people, of which three are police and 80 are civilians," Ahmad Bahir Ahmadi, spokesman for the governor of Kandahar, said.

Most of the civilians were injured because of damage to their homes during the explosion.

The attack began at around 4.30pm local time (12.00 GMT) and ended around two hours later.

Two insurgents were killed in fights with security forces and another two died in the car bomb.

Ahmadi said the number of fatalities could rise as the area is still being cleared.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

One of the group’s leaders Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said in a statement that it was carried out by suicide bombers "armed with light and heavy weapons and explosives vests".

He claimed that "dozens" of officers and police officers were killed or injured.

It came days after the Afghanistan government reported positive results from a peace conference between Taliban insurgents and Afghan representatives in Qatar.

The two-day event, which brought together 60 Afghans, representing all spheres of society, including Taliban and government officials, pledged “to minimize the civilian casualties to zero” in the war in Afghanistan and work on a "road map to peace" for formal talks in the future.

Taliban leaders and officials from the United States, led by envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, have separately held several rounds of peace talks in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Despite talks, violence has spiked across the country in recent years.

The government currently controls around 55 percent of Afghan territory, while the Taliban holds nearly 11 percent.

The remaining territory is disputed, according to the US Congress’ special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. EFE-EPA

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