GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghan and foreign forces killed several dozen Taliban insurgents on Thursday in separate clashes in Afghanistan, officials said.
After the traditional winter lull, violence has increased in recent weeks in Afghanistan.
Twenty Taliban fighters were killed in a joint operation by Afghan and NATO forces in the southern province of Zabul, a senior provincial police official, Faridullah Khogiani, said.
In neighboring Ghazni province, 10 insurgents died after a botched ambush against a joint Afghan and U.S.-led convoy on a highway in Ghazni province, a provincial official said.
In another clash in the same province, the Afghan National Army killed three more Taliban guerrillas, the defense ministry said in a statement.
There were no casualties among Afghan and foreign forces in any of the encounters, Afghan officials said. The Taliban could not be contacted immediately for comment.
Also on Thursday, at least two NATO soldiers were wounded and a tank destroyed when a remote-controlled roadside bomb exploded in Kandahar’s Spin Boldak town on the Pakistani border, border police chief, Abdul Raziq Khan, told Reuters.
He did not give the nationalities of the wounded soldiers but most of the foreign soldiers in Kandahar are Canadian.
A Taliban spokesman told Reuters that the militant group was behind the blast.
Removed from power in 2001, the Taliban Islamic movement leads an insurgency against the Afghan government and foreign troops.
The al Qaeda-backed militant group has vowed to topple the government and drive out foreign troops under the command of the U.S. military and NATO.
Violence has killed more than 11,000 people in the past two years, the bloodiest period since Taliban’s ouster.
It happens despite the presence of more than 55,000 foreign troops and some 140,000 national forces.
Additional reporting by Saeed Achakzai, Writing by Sayed Salahuddin and Jonathon Burch; Editing by Valerie Lee