Kabul: Six Afghan army soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in western Afghanistan on Saturday when a Taliban bomb exploded as the troops attempted to defuse it, the defence ministry said.

The incident happened in the insurgency-hit Muqur district of western Badghis province, Afghan defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told.

"Six soldiers were killed and 16 others injured when the Taliban improvised explosive device (IED) went off prematurely," Waziri said.

Taliban IEDs have become increasingly sophisticated and have killed and maimed thousands of Afghan and international soldiers, as well as civilians.

The Taliban, who once ruled Afghanistan but were toppled in a US-led military campaign in 2001 following the September 11 attacks, are waging a bloody insurgency against the Kabul government and foreign troops.