The bodies of 11 men, some beheaded, were found on Friday in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, police said.
Deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Khan said a villager in the Bagh Char area of Khas Uruzgan district spotted the bodies in a field and called police.
"They were killed because the Taliban said they were spying for the government, working for the government," he said. The acting Uruzgan governor, Khudia Rahim, said five or six of the 11 victims had been beheaded.
Farther south in Kandahar province, a joint force of Afghan security forces and international troops killed a midlevel Taliban commander and other insurgents Thursday who were planting a roadside bomb near the provincial capital, NATO said. Some of the insurgents were killed by a coalition airstrike, NATO said.
It said the Taliban commander, Faizullah, was responsible for roadside bomb attacks in the Arghandab district of Kandahar and is believed to have killed at least one coalition soldier in March. The coalition is ramping up security in and around Kandahar, the largest city in the south, in an effort to drive out insurgents and bring the area under the control of the central Afghan government in Kabul.
In Khost province, another joint force captured an alleged operative of the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-linked arm of the Taliban. Afghan and international forces have been involved in intense engagements with the Haqqani network along the border of Khost and Paktia provinces. Several insurgent commanders have been killed during operations, NATO said.