Taliban fighters killed in training blast

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Thirty Taliban militants were killed in an explosion as they were having bomb-making training in Afghanistan's north, Defence Ministry officials say.

However the Taliban disputes any people died.

According to the ministry, six of those killed in the blast at a mosque in Dawlat Abad district, Balkh province were foreign nationals.

It said the victims were not recognisable due to the severity of their injuries.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed Saturday's explosion but said it happened in an empty room and caused no casualties.

Car and roadside bombs are the Taliban's weapons of choice.

The militants killed at least five policemen and wounded 12 others in two separate attacks in the country earlier on Saturday.

Twelve policemen were wounded when a Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near a security checkpoint in southern Kandahar province in the morning.

Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker was identified and targeted before he could reach the checkpoint in Arghandab district.

Elsewhere, five policemen were killed in a roadside bomb attack overnight in Chapa Dara district of eastern Kunar province, provincial councillor Mohammad Sapai said.

Deadly attacks continue in Afghanistan despite peace talks between the internationally-backed Afghan government and Taliban militants.

The Islamic State also regularly carries out attacks.