Taliban insurgents beheaded six Afghan police during a raid on government buildings in northern Baghlan province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Wednesday.
Tuesday's attack by the Taliban targeted a police post and and a district government building in a province where they have been largely absent until recently.
It came on the same day an international conference agreed Afghan forces should be leading security operations across the country by 2014, with the aim of relieving foreign troops in some areas by as soon as the end of the year.
A spokesman for the Taliban confirmed the attack, but denied the alliance's report on beheadings. While the Taliban has carried out beheadings before, the governor of Baghlan, Abdul Majid, said he was unaware of the mutilation report.
Despite the number of foreign forces rising to around 150,000, the Taliban have made a comeback from their 2001 ousting and casualties on all sides are mounting.