A Taliban attack in northern Afghanistan killed at least 17 local militiamen, an Afghan official said Sunday.
The attack apparently targeted a local militia commander who escaped unharmed, said Jawad Hajri, a spokesman for the governor of Takhar province, where the attack took place late Saturday.
Local Afghan militias commonly operate in remote areas, and are under the command of either the defense or interior ministries.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack came even as Taliban officials have told The Associated Press that a temporary nationwide cease-fire may be in the works.
The Taliban have previously refused all offers of a ceasefire by the Afghan government, except for a three-day truce in June 2018 over the Eid al-Fitr holiday.