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The attack Thursday night in Shindand district lasted for hours.

In the western province of Herat, the militants attacked security posts, leaving nine soldiers and a police officer dead.

Provincial council member said the district had fallen to Taliban, but police rejected the claim.

"Five National Directorate of Security operatives, Khwaja Omari district governor and seven police force members were martyred (in the attack)", he added.

Shaker explained Taliban had been murdered. however, it's not yet determined exactly how many.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the raid in a WhatsApp message to journalists, saying "more than 20 police" were killed and several others wounded.

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Fighting in Afghanistan traditionally increases in the spring when warmer weather melts snow blocking mountain passes, increasing the mobility of the insurgents.

The militants also set off an improvised explosive device (IED) and fired a rocket on responding police unit that arrived at the scene, resulting a police commander killed and four police officers wounded, the official added.

Suicide blasts and militant attacks were the leading cause of civilian casualties at 751, more than double from the same period previous year, the report showed, as militants ramp up indiscriminate assaults in urban areas.

Most civilians were killed by insurgents, and fewer people were killed by pro-government security forces than previously, said the United Nations quarterly report. Fifteen security forces were killed.

The Taliban has not yet commented on the report so far.

"All parties to the conflict in Afghanistan must do everything in their power to protect civilians from harm", said Ingrid Hayden, the secretary-general's deputy special representative for Afghanistan.

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