At least seven policemen and three civilians were killed Saturday in a series of attacks in Afghanistan, officials said.
In the eastern Ghazni province, Taliban insurgents killed three policemen in attacks on security checkpoints, according to provincial police chief spokesman Ahmad Khan Serat. Associated Press reported the Taliban claimed responsibility.
At least four policemen were killed when the Taliban stormed a security checkpoint in the northern Sari Pul province, provincial council leader Mohammad Noor Rahmani said.
Two explosions in Jalalabad, in the eastern Nangarhar province, claimed the lives of at least three civilians, said Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
No groups claimed responsibility for the attacks in Nangarhar and Sari Pul.
Islamic State established a presence in Nangarhar in 2015. Fighting among militant groups has intensified in recent weeks amid ongoing peace negotiations, as have clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad lobbied in Kabul earlier this week for talks that would include leading Afghan figures, government officials, the Taliban and other opposition representatives. Khalilzad said progress was made during several rounds of negotiations with the Taliban last month in Qatar.
Despite the ongoing talks, the Taliban continue to attack Afghan forces and refuse to talk directly with the Afghan government, maintaining it is merely a puppet of the U.S.
Also on Saturday, Pope Francis blamed the U.S. and Europe for fueling the conflict in Afghanistan, as well as those in Syria and Yemen, by selling weapons in war zones.
The pope told students and teachers at Milan's San Carlo Institute there are so many wars in the world because "the rich Europe and America sell weapons ... used to kill children and kill people." He added: "A country that produces and sells weapons has on its conscience the death of every child and destruction of each family."
Source: Voice of America