At least 20 Afghan policemen were killed and ten others injured in a Taliban attack on several checkpoints in Zabul province, an official said on Sunday.

On Saturday night, hundreds of Taliban fighters simultaneously attacked the checkpoints at three different places, in a bid to wrest control of these areas, but their attempts were foiled by Afghan forces, the official told Efe news.

The official said the insurgents had also suffered “numerous casualties”, but he could not provide the exact figures.

The attacks took place in the Dai-Chopan, Arghandab and Shajoy districts, the last named being the worst-affected, he added.

A member of the Zabul security forces, who requested anonymity, told Efe news that the insurgents had also fired projectiles against provincial capital Qalat, but that did not cause any fatalities.

Zabul, that borders Pakistan, has a large Taliban presence, with the insurgent group controlling broad swathes of its territory.