18 Afghan policemen killed in ambush

"The acting interior minister is deeply saddened about the killing of 18 policemen and wounding of 13 others in a terrorist attack in Warduj district of Badakhshan,” a ministry statement said.

"A group of Afghan police forces on their return from a clean-up operation on the outskirts of Warduj district faced an enemy ambush and it resulted in the killing of brave Afghan policemen."

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the AFP.

Insurgent attacks in Badakhshan province are rare, as it’s located in a remote, mountainous of the northeastern part of Afghanistan.

The attack comes as the Afghan security forces are transitioning into the lead for combat operations in Afghanistan, ahead of the planned 2014 security handoff. There are concerns about how prepared the Afghan forces will be to handle security without the aid of U.S. and NATO troops.