At least six local policemen have been killed and several others wounded in a militant attack on their checkpoints in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.
District police chief Amanullah, who goes by only one name, said Saturday that the assault was carried out the previous night in Nawa district.
Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, in a statement sent to media claimed responsibility for the attack. He said 15 members of local security forces were killed after Taliban fighters overran three checkpoints.
In a separate attack, heavily-armed gunmen killed a district judge in the western province of Herat.
Iqbal Nezami, a spokesman for the provincial police in Ghor province, said Mawlavi Baz Mohammad was on his way from Ghor to Herat when gunmen forced him out of his vehicle and killed him in Shandand district. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the killing.
The rise in attacks by the Taliban over the past months has also raised doubts about the effectiveness of Washington's strategy in Afghanistan some 17 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country under the pretext of war on terror.