At least 16 people, including children, have been killed during a heavy gunfight between a group of armed men and Taliban security forces in the western Herat city.
The clashes on Sunday lasted nearly three hours.
The dead bodies of seven children, three women and six men have been taken to Herat regional hospital at the end of the clashes, a hospital source said.
A local journalist in the province confirmed the same account.
However, the Interior Ministry spokesman, Qari Saeed Khosty, alleged that three kidnappers who were hiding in a house in police district 15 were gunned down during the operation.
A provincial Taliban spokesman provided a different account.
Initially, some local media reported that the Taliban forces had raided a former Taliban splinter group that had recently joined the Islamic State (IS) group.
Images shared from the site of the clashes show a completely damaged house.
The Taliban are enemies of the IS group.
Both extremist groups have been fighting each other since IS emerged in Afghanistan in early 2015.
Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, IS fighters have carried out numerous deadly attacks, mainly against Taliban forces and Shii’te religious sites in the country.
This month, IS claimed responsibility for two major bombings in the north and south of the country that killed at least a hundred civilians.
The Taliban have been harsh against the IS affiliates and authorities do not consider it a threat to their newly established government.