An Afghan National Army soldier directs a vehicle to stop at a checkpoint on the way to Zhari district, where the Maiwand army base is located, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Picture: AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini

Kabul — The Taliban have killed at least 58 Afghan security forces in a wave of attacks across the country, including an assault that nearly wiped out an army camp in the southern Kandahar province, officials said Thursday.

The attack on the army camp took place late on Wednesday and involved two suicide car bombs, said spokesperson Dawlat Wazir. It set of hours of fighting, killing at least 43 soldiers.

Nine other soldiers were wounded and six have gone missing, Wazir said, adding that 10 attackers were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a media statement.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a Taliban ambush in the northern Balkh province late Wednesday killed six policemen, according to Shir Jan Durani, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

And a Taliban attack on police posts in western Farah province, also late Wednesday, killed nine policemen, said police chief Abdul Marouf Foulad. He said 22 insurgents were killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Afghan forces have struggled to combat a resurgent Taliban since US and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counter-terrorism and support role.

The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers, and killing at least 74 people, officials said.

Among those killed in one of the attacks was a provincial police chief. Scores were also wounded, both policemen and civilians. Afghanistan's deputy interior minister, Murad Ali Murad, called Tuesday's onslaught the "biggest terrorist attack this year."

Over the past two years and after the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops, the Taliban have stepped up attacks and spread from their southern heartland across the country. Attacks in the north have also increased.

Associated Press