Twenty-four people, including 18 suspected Taliban insurgents, were killed as fighting flared up in Afghanistan's northwest Badghis province, its governor said on Saturday.
"Taliban fighters ambushed a unit of national army soldiers in Balamurghab district on Friday and troops returned fire, leaving 18 Taliban rebels dead," Governor Dulbar Jan Arman told Xinhua.
Six Afghan soldiers were killed in the firefight lasted for several hours, he added.
Several Taliban insurgents and five Afghan troopers were injured in the incident, he added.
The Taliban has yet to make a comment on the incident.
The insurgents have recently vowed to launch a spring offensive and speed up attacks against Afghan and US-led forces based in Afghanistan.