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15 Afghan policemen killed in separate Taliban attacks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photograph taken on September 24, 2017, Afghan security personnel take part in a patrol during an operation against Taliban militants in the Jaghatu District of Ghazni province. (Photo by AFP)

A total of 15 police officers have been killed in the east and south of Afghanistan in separate attacks by the Taliban militant group.

Nine policemen were killed Monday in an attack by the Taliban on a checkpoint in eastern Ghazni province.

Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said police forces in the area engaged in a shoot-out with the militants, killing seven of them and injuring five others. He said four police officers were also injured in the battle that lasted an hour.

The attack was the second by the Taliban in less than 24 hours. Militants of the group targeted another police checkpoint in the southern province of Zabul late on Sunday. The clashes that erupted afterwards left six police officers dead while eight others were injured. Local officials said eight militants were also killed in the confrontation while 12 others were injured.

Meanwhile, there were reports of a bomb blast in a market in northern Baghlan province, which injured 13 people on Monday. There has been no claim of responsibility.

The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan before the US-led invasion in 2001, have increased attacks on security forces and foreign troops over the past two years.

The group, mostly based in the south and east of Afghanistan, has been behind many attacks in the north of the country in the recent past.

Afghanistan still suffers from continued violence despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops in the war-torn country.

Some 200 people have been killed in attacks by the Taliban across Afghanistan this month.

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