At least nine security forces were killed Saturday in separate attacks by Taliban insurgents on police checkpoints in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, a provincial official said.
Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said two police checkpoints came under attack by Taliban fighters in the early hours, also wounding two police. He said six insurgents were killed and nine others were wounded in the battle, which lasted almost an hour.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, according to their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. He said 14 police were killed, including both commanders of the checkpoints.
Afghan forces have struggled to combat a resurgent Taliban since US and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counterterrorism and support role.
A US service member has died from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash in eastern Logar province, the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Resolute Support, said in a statement Saturday.
It added that six other US crew members were injured in the crash late Friday evening and are all receiving medical treatment.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed their fighters shot down the helicopter in Karwar district.
Also Friday, the senior US diplomat for South Asia said Washington wants Pakistan to move quickly to show good faith in supporting efforts to counter militants operating in Afghanistan and in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.
Speaking after accompanying US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on a visit to the region, including Pakistan, Alice Wells said Washington looked forward to seeing practical steps from Pakistan "over the next few weeks and months."
"The secretary stressed the importance of Pakistan moving quickly to demonstrate good faith and efforts to use its influence to create the conditions that will get the Taliban to the negotiating table," Wells, the acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia, told reporters.