Almost two dozen police officers have been killed by Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan.
Police said on Tuesday that the militants staged a series of attacks on more than a dozen checkpoints in the province of Kandahar.
The overnight attacks left 22 police officers dead and 15 other wounded, according to police.
Authorities said government forces killed 45 militants and wounded 35.
The militants failed to seize any of the checkpoints.
“Our forces resisted until they received reinforcement and air support,” said Zia Durrani, a spokesman for Kandahar’s police chief. “The Taliban were defeated.”
Local sources cited Kandahar police as saying that Taliban militants attacked security checkpoints in Zhari and Maiwand districts. The attack was one of the biggest attacks by the Taliban group in the past years.
Afghanistan is engulfed by violence and many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.
The United States and its NATO allies occupied the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001, which toppled the Taliban regime.
Over the past 16 years, the Taliban have been carrying out a militancy across Afghanistan, killing and displacing government officials, security forces, and civilians.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has also more recently gained a foothold in the country.