Taliban fighters attacked two checkpoints in western Afghanistan, killing at least 10 members of the security forces and pro-government militia, officials said Monday, in a bloody 24 hours in the war-torn country.
Provincial council chief Abdul Aziz Bek gave a higher death toll of 21 - 14 police and seven militia members - but that figure could not be immediately confirmed by AFP. "The Taliban captured both checkpoints and took all the military equipment and ammunition with them," Bek said.
The Taliban, who have been slaughtering Afghan security forces in record numbers, claimed responsibility for both attacks.
On the other side of the country in the southeastern province of Paktika, eight civilians were killed and 12 wounded on Monday when a roadside bomb exploded near a market in Janikhail district.
A group of children had been trying to remove the explosive device from the ground when it exploded, Aryan said.
It was not clear if the bomb had been deliberately planted or was left over from decades of conflict.
Civilians have long borne the brunt of the war, with 8,050 people killed or wounded in the first nine months of 2018, according to the latest UN figures.
The bloodshed comes amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table and ending the 17-year war.
Taliban representatives recently met with Iran, as Tehran makes a more concerted and open push for peace ahead of a possible US drawdown.
US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met with the group several times in recent months, but the leaking of President Donald Trump's plan to slash troop numbers in Afghanistan has threatened to derail those efforts.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)