Eight Afghan policeman were beheaded and another eight were killed within 24 hours in separate attacks as Afghan security forces gear up to guard the second round runoff of the country's presidential election.

Deputy Provincial Governor Mohammad Jan Rassoulyar told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday that the decapitated bodies of eight local police in Zabul were found by villagers Tuesday. He said the policeman were taken two weeks ago when their convoy was attacked by militants.

“Their bodies were discovered in Nawbahar district and we have sent elders to bring them to Qalat,” Rassoulyar said, referring to the provincial capital. He said the policeman were beheaded on Tuesday and discovered a short while later. Ghulam Jilani Farahi, Zabul’s deputy police chief, said the officers were shot and then beheaded.

Taliban militants couldn't be reached for comment by AFP. The militants have been responsible for previous attacks on police. Al-Jazeera noted that the Taliban said it would target Afghan and foreign troops in an effort to disrupt the second round runoff in the presidential election scheduled to be held June 14.

Another eight policeman were killed Tuesday during an attack in Badakhsan, an official told AFP.

"The Taliban attacked from the surrounding mountains with rockets and small arms. Eight police were killed after they ran out of ammunition," Deputy Provincial Governor Gul Mohammad Bedar said. "We have sent reinforcements and ammunition to help around 40 other police who are still in Yamgan district."

Another deputy provincial governor said 13 Taliban were killed in the attack.