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Afghan officials say a Taliban attack against pro-government forces has killed at least 26 in the northern province of Baghlan.
District chief Fazeluddin Muradi says that the insurgents' attack also wounded at least eight pro-government fighters, during several hours of battle late Friday in the area of Nahrin.
A police official, who was not authorised to speak on the issue, confirmed the high death toll.
Taliban did not immediately claim the attack, but recently the militant group has stepped up its offensive against Afghan security forces.
The US is opening Saturday in Qatar a fresh round of peace talks with the militants to end the country's long-running civil war.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for detonating the bomb near the National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound in Ghazni city during Sunday morning's rush hour.
Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry also says three other soldiers were wounded in Thursday's attack in the Chahar Asyab district in Kabul province.
Police chief spokesman Abdul Ahid Walizada said on Wednesday that seven others were wounded in the Tuesday night attack in Robat Sangi district. He said an unspecified number of Taliban fighters suffered casualties.
The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul.
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