A suicide car bomber killed 18 people in the eastern Afghan city of Khost on Saturday. (Representative image) Photograph: (AFP)
A suicide bomber killed at least 18 people in Afghanistan on Saturday and fighting between militants and security forces left at least 36 people dead on the first day of Islam's holy Month of Ramzan.
"A suicide car bomb in Khost province has killed 18 people and wounded six others, including two children," ministry spokesman Najib Danish said on Twitter.
In the north-western province of Badghis, militants attacked security forces in Qadis district, sparking fighting that killed 22 insurgents, six security forces personnel, and eight civilians, said Zahir Bahand a spokesman for the provincial governor.
The fighting also left 33 militants and 17 civilians wounded, he said.
The Western-backed Afghan government is battling both Taliban and Islamic State militants around the country.
Taliban forces have increased their attacks in the weeks before Ramzan, with a string of strikes in Kandahar, Paktia, and Helmand, among other provinces.
Muslims around the world typically mark Ramzanwith fasting, prayers, and other observances, although the holy month can begin on different days in different countries.