Kabul: Insurgents have killed 16 policemen in Afghanistan in the space of one day and beheaded eight of them, officials said, as security forces prepare to guard a second-round election.

Villagers in the southern province of Zabul found the decapitated bodies of eight local policemen who were seized two weeks ago, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Jan Rassoulyar said.

The policemen were snatched by terroristsafter an attack on their convoy.

The deputy police chief of Zabul, Ghulam Jilani Farahi, said the policemen were first shot and then decapitated.

Taliban terrorists, who are responsible for many attacks on Afghan police, were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy provincial police chief Abdul Qadir Sayad confirmed the attack, saying 13 Taliban were also killed.

With inputs from Reuters