Attacks in southern Uruzgan and Helmand and northern Kunduz claim at least 23 lives, including civilians, officials say.

Fresh violence comes as Afghan negotiators in Qatar and the Taliban prepare for talks aimed at finding an end to decades of conflict. [FILE]
Fresh violence comes as Afghan negotiators in Qatar and the Taliban prepare for talks aimed at finding an end to decades of conflict. [FILE] (AP)

At least 23 civilians and security forces have been killed in separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, officials said, as Afghan negotiators in Qatar resume talks with the Taliban aimed at finding an end to decades of conflict.

In southern Uruzgan province, a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives early on Thursday near a military base, killing six security forces, said a provincial council member who was not authorised to speak with the media.

Mohammad Karim Karimi, deputy head of the provincial council in Uruzgan, confirmed the attack on the military base in Tirin Kot, the provincial capital, but couldn't provide an exact death toll. 

He said the explosion was so strong it sent shock waves through the city.

READ MORE: Loud explosion shakes Kabul during rush hour

Civilains killed in Helmand province 

In southern Helmand province, at least five civilians were killed and five others wounded in a suspected air strike late on Wednesday on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, according to Attaullah Afghan, head of the provincial council. 

He said the casualties included children and women.

Abdul Nabi Elham, the provincial governor, said officials were investigating to determine whether the assault was an air strike or some other type of attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.

READ MORE: Deadly car bomb explodes near prison in Afghanistan's Kabul

Taliban attack on army checkpoint

In northern Kunduz province, Taliban fighters stormed a military checkpoint killing at least 12 security personnel, said a provincial official who was not authorized to speak with the media.

He said about 10 other security forces were missing and may have been taken into custody by the Taliban during the attack. The official said reinforcements were dispatched to the area outside the provincial capital Kunduz.

Two military vehicles were destroyed and weapons and a mmunition from the checkpoint were seized by the insurgents, he added.

Kabul-Taliban talks

Meanwhile, talks between the Taliban and Kabul government to bring peace to Afghanistan resumed in Doha on Wednesday, both sides said, amid surging violence and accusations of slow progress.

Months of deliberations between the two parties have yielded little so far, although an agreement on what to discuss in the next round was viewed as a breakthrough.

"The second round of intra-Afghan talks started this evening during a preparatory meeting," a spokesman for the Taliban's Doha office Mohammad Naeem tweeted on Wednesday. 

"In the meeting, it was decided that the teams appointed by the two sides to discuss the agenda topics would begin their work next Saturday to discuss the issues on the agenda."

READ MORE: Taliban team visits Pakistan to discuss Afghanistan ceasefire

Source: AP