Afghanistan: Taliban attack kills Ghazni's district Governor

District governor among 12 killed in militant attack in eastern Afghanistan

Afghan officials say at least 15 people have been killed, including a district governor, after Taliban militants attacked a district government compound in southeastern Afghanistan.

He said eight Taliban, including a notorious commander, were killed in the overnight raid.

In the ensuing fire exchange, two assailants and an ALP member were killed and four militants and five security personnel wounded, the governor's office said.

The Taliban controls large swaths of Ghazni, a strategic province near the border with Pakistan.

The Taliban claim to have taken control of key parts of the Khwaja Omari district, but provincial officials deny that.

Also on Thursday, the United Nations' Afghanistan assistance mission urged warring factions in the country to protect civilians, saying the civilian death toll in the first three months of this year was a staggering 763 people.

Attackers stormed the secure compound in Khuja Omari district last night, setting off hours of fighting with security forces, Ramazan Ali Moseni, a deputy chief police in Ghazni province, said.

But the number of civilian casualties from attacks by the Taliban, the Islamic State group and other militants "deliberately targeting" ordinary Afghans more than doubled - accounting for 39 percent of all casualties.

Nangarhar police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces targeted an insurgent hideout in the Mia Sahib locality of Hesarak district late on Wednesday.

The Taliban usually announce the launch of a spring offensive in April.

They are under pressure to take up President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks but so far they have not responded directly to the proposal.

"Afghan civilians continue to suffer, caught in the conflict, in ways that are preventable; this must stop now", said Ingrid Hayden, the secretary-general's deputy special representative for Afghanistan.