At least 15 Afghan border police were killed battling Taliban insurgents yesterday, an official said, as fighting continues ahead of this month's elections, with 21 Taliban killed in an operation in Wardak, west of the capital Kabul.
Amruddin Wali, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, said 15 members of the paramilitary border police were killed when Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint in Qala-e Zal district.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid put the casualty total at 25 and said seven police were wounded.
The latest violence follows increasing pressure by the Taliban on Kunduz, the northern city they twice overran in 2015 and 2016. The city has remained relatively secure over the past two years, but the insurgents control many of the surrounding districts.
Earlier, Afghan special forces, backed by air strikes, killed at least 21 Taliban, including senior commanders, as they gathered to plan attacks aimed at disrupting parliamentary elections on October 20, the National Directorate of Security said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a suicide bomber killed eight people in southern province of Helmand, including a candidate in upcoming parliamentary elections, the latest in a series of deadly attacks targeting the vote, officials said.
The election candidate, Saleh Mohammad Achekzai, was killed in the blast at an election rally in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, Omar Zwak, the provincial governor's spokesman confirmed. At least 11 people were wounded.
No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack in the province bordering Pakistan that has seen some of the fiercest fighting of the Taliban insurgency.