At least 15 policemen have been killed and another 10 wounded in a Taliban ambush in western Afghanistan's Farah province, according to a government official.

Abdul Rahman Zhawandai, the Farah provincial government spokesperson, said on Thursday that an Afghan National Police squad was on patrol along the region's main highway when they were ambushed in a mountain pass.

Zhawandai said the attack occurred late on Wednesday as about 40 policemen were patrolling the highway in several vehicles. It happened in the Bakwa district, which borders Iran.

The Taliban have escalated attacks in recent months as they try to take advantage of the withdrawal of foreign troops, who handed over security for the country to Afghan forces two months ago.

"Highway One", on which the attack occurred, is a 2,200km circular road connecting the key cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.

The ambush raised the death toll in Taliban attacks on Wednesday to more than 30, including an American soldier, four policemen and three civilians who died when Taliban fighters tried to storm a joint NATO-Afghan military base in the east.

Source: Agencies