Afghan police killed 26 Taliban militants, including several commanders, in two operations in a volatile southern province, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
Twenty militants were killed in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province on Thursday, while eight were wounded, the ministry said. It said two commanders were among the dead.
In the nearby district of Zhari, six Taliban fighters were killed, including one commander, it said.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed a clash in Shah Wali Kot on Wednesday but said it had no details. The Interior Ministry said no police were hurt or killed in the operations.
Violence has spiked around Afghanistan in recent weeks. More than 2,300 people have died in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan this year, according to an Associated Press count based on US, NATO, UN and Afghan officials.
Elsewhere, US-led coalition and Afghan troops killed a suspected militant and detained three others during a raid on a compound in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, a coalition statement said.
The troops were searching the compound suspected of housing Taliban and foreign fighters in Mata Khan district in Paktika province, the statement said.
"The forces killed the adult male when he attempted to engage them during a search of the location," the statement said.