At least eight Taliban militants strapped with explosives have attacked
government and military buildings in two Afghan cities, killing at
least six security officers.
Officials say a group of gunmen, some disguised in women's robes known as burqas, tried to storm the local intelligence office, the governor's office and a police compound in Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in the southeast. Six militants were reported killed in gunbattles with police.
A Taliban spokesman said 15 fighters were involved in that assault.
In the eastern city of Jalalabad, at least two militants were killed while trying to attack a base for U.S. and Afghan forces.
Afghanistan is experiencing a surge of violence as Taliban forces battle a U.S.-led counter-offensive aimed at shrinking insurgent safe havens and protecting civilians. Efforts to secure the country for the August 20 presidential elections have made July the deadliest month for foreign troops since the 2001 invasion.
In other violence, an Afghan army official says 13 Taliban fighters were killed and 12 wounded during an operation in northern Kunduz province. Five Afghan soldiers also were killed during the fighting.
Also, 10 Taliban militants were killed while planting a roadside bomb in southwestern Deh Yak.