Police in northwestern Afghanistan say 18 police officers were captured by the Taliban when the militant group seized a remote district in Faryab Province.
Faryab police chief Sayed Aqa said on October 20 that the officers, including the head of the district police, were captured by the Taliban after two days of clashes in the Ghormach district.
In Kabul, the Interior Ministry said the district police chief and 17 of his men have not been heard from since October 19.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said insurgents seized Ghormach on October 18.
A Taliban spokesman said the militant group detained the district police chief, who was wounded in battle, along with 13 other policemen.
Sediqqi says reinforcements have been sent to Faryab and First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum will coordinate operations there.
Dostum, a former warlord with no formal position in the military, has recently taken his personal militia to fight the Taliban and other insurgents across the northern provinces.
With reporting by AP