KABUL, Afghanistan

At least 26 security forces were killed in northern Afghanistan amid a surge in Taliban claimed attacks, officials confirmed on Monday.

Spokesman for the governor of Kunduz province, Esmatullah Muradi told Anadolu Agency the insurgents staged coordinated attacks in Chahar Dara and Imam Sahib districts late Sunday evening. He confirmed that 14 security forces and three Taliban insurgents were killed in exchange of fire.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attacks in Kunduz. The group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed in a statement that 19 government forces have been killed in attacks on check points in both districts.

In nearby Badakhshan and Ghor province, the Taliban orchestrated similar deadly assaults killing at least 12 security forces, officials told Anadolu Agency.

In another statement, the group’s spokesman also claimed this attack, asserting that eight policemen were killed.

The local Salam Afghanistan radio reported that a suicide car bombing rocked northern Samangan province early on Monday. It added casualties were feared in this attack targeting the local office of the intelligence agency NDS.

The Taliban in Afghanistan on Sunday out-rightly rejected growing calls for cease-fire by the Afghan government and international community saying they are yet to find “an alternative” to the ongoing insurgency.

Mujahid earlier said in a series of tweets that implementation of the Doha agreement with the US and start of intra-Afghan negotiations are necessary toward deescalation and end of war. “If anyone seeks ceasefire before talks then such is illogical. War is raging precisely b/c we have yet to find an alternative,” he said.

Last week, Afghan President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani warned the peace process might face “serious challenges” if Taliban continued with the war.

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