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Taliban 'overran Afghan district'

The Taliban briefly overran an unstable district in eastern Afghanistan, torching government buildings and capturing police officers after an intense gunfight, officials said.

The government was back in control of Ghazni province's Khogyani district a few hours later, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary, who did not have any information on casualties.

He added that three rooms in the government headquarters had been burned and a vehicle was damaged.

A Nato spokesman said he did not have any details of the incident.

Local police chief Mohammad Yasin, who was not present during the attacks, said government buildings were captured and set on fire.

All the police officers guarding the district headquarters were either killed or captured, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.

He later put out a press release saying the Taliban had left the district after damaging the headquarters.

In recent months, Ghazni has become one of the most unstable provinces in Afghanistan. Insecurity around the country increased after Nato and Afghan troops began pushing into the Taliban heartland of the south in July.

Parliamentary elections held in September did not take place in most of Ghazni because of the insurgent threat.

Afghanistan has more than 350 districts, and around 10 are under direct Taliban control.

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