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At least 17 killed in attacks across Afghanistan

People attend a rally in Afghan capital Kabul on Nov. 12, 2018. Hundreds of protestors staged a peaceful rally in Kabul and gathered in front of Presidential Palace on Monday calling upon the president to take immediate action against attacking militants in Jaghori and Malestan districts of the eastern Ghazni province. (/Rahmat Alizadah/Xinhua/Sipa USA)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Afghan officials say at least 17 people have been killed in a string of attacks across the country.

There was no claim of responsibility for the series of attacks on June 13.

Violence in the country has spiked in recent weeks despite progress toward the launch of direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government over a permanent cease-fire and future power-sharing deal.

Gunmen killed eight people in the eastern province of Khost, the spokesman for the provincial police chief said.

Spokesman Adel Haidar said Abdul Wali Ekhlas, a candidate in last year’s parliamentary elections, was among those killed in the Ali Sher district.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

In the eastern province of Logar, a local official said gunmen stormed a house in the provincial capital, Pul-e Alam, killing a woman and her three daughters.

In the northeastern province of Badakhshan, the provincial spokesman for the police chief said a pro-government militia commander and three of his men were killed by gunmen.

Meanwhile, a cleric was gunned down by gunmen in the northern province of Takhar.

On June 12, a pro-government cleric was killed in an explosion in the capital, Kabul.

Also on June 12, an official in the central province of Ghor said Taliban militants stormed a police checkpoint and killed 10 police officers.