KABUL, July 24 (Xinhua) -- About 23 people were killed while nearly 40 others wounded in separate attacks in Afghanistan on Thursday, authorities said.
In one attack in the morning, six civilians, including a teenage girl, were killed and 28 civilians got injured when a bomb attached to a motorbike was detonated in a bazaar in Khwaja Ghar District of northern Takhar province, the Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement.
Several wounded people remained in critical conditions as a result of the attack in the province, 245 km north of Kabul, according to the statement.
At around midday, two foreign female aid workers were killed in a drive-by shooting in western Herat province.
"Two foreign female staff of a none-governmental organization (NGO) came under armed attack while traveling in a taxi in Shar-e- Naw locality of Herat city on Thursday. Their bodies were shifted to Herat Regional Hospital," a police source told Xinhua anonymously.
The motive behind the attack and the nationalities of the victims remained unknown.
However, unofficial sources said the victims were from Finland and were working for International Assistance Mission, a non- profit Christian development NGO working in Afghanistan since 1966.
The locals said the attackers might be members of Islamic militants who carried out the attack in retaliation of the Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip. However, no group or individuals have claimed the personality for the killing until late Thursday.
The attackers riding a motorcycle fled the scene in the province, 640 km west of Kabul.
In similar incident, a judge named Mohammad Jawad was shot dead along with his bodyguard in Mazar-i-Sharif city, the capital of northern Balkh province, 305 km north of Kabul, earlier in the day. The two attackers driving a car escaped shortly after the shooting.
Two Afghan Local Police (ALP) cops were killed and one other was injured in a suicide bombing in the country's eastern province of Nangarhar early in the day.
"A senior commanding officer of Afghan Local Police (ALP) Maliak Nawab was killed along one ALP cop and one police was wounded following a suicide attack in Khogyanni district Thursday morning," provincial police spokesman Hazrat Houssin Mashriqiwal told Xinhua.
The bomber who detonated his explosive vest near a police security checkpoint was also killed in the attack, he added, blaming Taliban insurgents for the attack in the province, 120 east of Kabul.
A surge in attacks has been witnessed in the country since the Taliban launched a yearly rebel offensive against Afghan security forces and NATO-led troops stationed in the country in mid-May.
At around dawn, a total of 10 militants were killed and four policemen were wounded as the Taliban launched an attack on police checkpoints in Ghormach district of northern Faryab province.
In neighboring Jazjan province, police arrested a Taliban roadside bomb making expert and seized 20 kg explosive materials in his possession.
The captured man was involved in a string of roadside bombings in the province, 390 km north of Kabul.
Elsewhere, one police was killed and three others wounded in a roadside bomb attack in southern Uruzgan province, a senior police official Aslam Khchai told Xinhua.
The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from foreign troops by the end of the year.
Nearly 50,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan, and the United States plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.
More than 1,560 civilians were killed and nearly 3,290 others wounded in conflicts and Taliban-led attacks in the first six months of 2014, according to official figures released by UN mission in the country.