KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 Afghan soldiers and eight Taliban militants were killed following clashes in northern province of Kunduz overnight, a local source said.
"Fresh clashes erupted in Talawla, an area on northern outskirts of provincial capital Kunduz city at midnight after Taliban militants stormed security checkpoints. The clashes also caused five soldiers and several militants injured," the source told Xinhua anonymously.
The targeted security checkpoints were jointly manning by Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police, a border security force belonging to the Ministry of Defense, he said.
The next-of-kin of the victims would be notified later in the day, he said.
Mohammad Yusuf Ayoubi, an official of provincial council, when approached by Xinhua confirmed the incident.
Earlier in the day, Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, claimed that the insurgents' fighters inflicted heavy casualties on the side of security force, killing more than 30 soldiers besides destroying the checkpoints' facilities.
Warring sides in Afghanistan usually exaggerate the casualties of opponent side and it is difficult to verify the figures by them with independent sources.
Fighting has escalated in Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgency spreads from its traditional strongholds in the south and east to the once peaceful region in the north, where Taliban have been recruiting among the youth.
The militants have also intensified attacks on security forces and staged coordinated large-scale attacks in Afghan cities and districts.