KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN: At least 26 Afghan police or soldiers have been killed in multiple Taliban attacks in the volatile south, including a 16-hour siege of a college dormitory, officials said Tuesday.
The violence over a 24-hour period comes as the insurgents step up attacks on government and foreign targets despite Kabul's repeated overtures to the Taliban to reopen peace talks.
Taliban militants raided several police outposts in Naw Zad district in the restive opium-rich province of Helmand late Monday.
"Around 16 security forces have been killed in Taliban attacks in Naw Zad district," provincial council chief Karim Atal told AFP.
In neighbouring Kandahar insurgents stormed the dormitory of a teacher training school late Monday, triggering a 16-hour gunbattle with Afghan forces.
Read: At least five police killed in Taliban attack: officials
"The police were able to evacuate the residence and in the fighting one woman was killed and six police were wounded," said provincial police spokesman Zai Durani.
Another militant attack in Waza Khwa district in the southeastern province of Paktika left at least eight police dead and ten wounded late Monday.
"A large group of Taliban attacked a police post. The police fought bravely but they were overpowered by the militants," said deputy provincial governor Attaullah Fazly.
"Our initial reports show at least eight police were killed and ten wounded," he said.
Nehmatulla Babori, the deputy provincial council chief, said the militants torched the police post and stole weapons and police vehicles.
On Tuesday at least three suicide bombers attacked a court complex in the capital of Wardak province, killing two policemen and wounding another.
"Three attackers tried to enter the appellate court in Maidan Shahr. One blew himself up at the first checkpost, killing two police. The others tried to enter the building but were killed by security forces," said provincial police chief Khalil Andarabi.
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The Taliban, waging a 13-year war against the US-backed Afghan government, claimed responsibility for all attacks.
The insurgents launched their annual spring-summer offensive -- titled 'Azm' (Determination) -- in late April, vowing nationwide attacks in what is expected to be the bloodiest summer in a decade.
A truck bomber attacked a government complex in the southern province of Zabul on Monday, wounding more than 70 people.