At least 21 Afghan security forces have been killed as Taliban militants stormed security checkpoints in the western province of Badghis, in one of the deadliest attacks to hit the area in months.
Local officials said two security posts in different parts of the province, which borders Turkmenistan, had been stormed by the militants overnight.
Some 14 Afghan policemen and seven pro-government forces lost their lives, while nine others were injured in the raids, according to Abdul Aziz Bek, head of the provincial council.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, put the number of fatalities at 34, claiming that the militants had seized many weapons and ammunition from government forces during the raids.
Jamshid Shahabi, a spokesman for the Badghis provincial governor, also aid over 15 Taliban militants had been killed and 10 others wounded in the ensuing clashes.
In a separate incident on Monday, at least five civilians were killed and eight wounded in a bomb blast in the eastern province of Paktika.