Nineteen Afghan policemen died in an ambush by rebels in the southern province of Helmand, a government spokesman said on Tuesday, in the latest spate of violence by suspected Taliban militants.
The ambush occurred in Helmand's Registan district on Monday afternoon and was followed by a clash that went on until early Tuesday, an interior ministry spokesman said.
"As a result of the ambush or clash, 18 policemen were martyred and four others wounded," the spokesman, Mohammad Yousuf Stanekzai, told Reuters.
Those killed included a senior police official in Helmand, Amanullah Khan, a spokesman for the interior ministry told news agencies.
He had been on his way to present a new district police chief when the ambush happened.
Mr Stanizai blamed the attack on "enemies of peace" - a term Afghan officials often use to mean militants loyal to the ousted Taleban government, reports BBC.