KUNDUZ (AFP) Up to 60 militants and 19 civilians may have been killed in bloody clashes between rival militant groups in northern Afghanistan, a police official said Sunday. The fighting between Taliban rebels and militants loyal to the Hezb-i-Islami insurgent group erupted early Saturday in Baghlan province where both factions are active, said provincial police chief Mohammad Kabir Andarabi. Citing local sources in the region, the police chief said the battles took place in the Jangal Bagh area. The interior ministry on Saturday confirmed the clashes, but was not able to give casualty figures. We have intelligence reports that 60 fighters - 40 (from) Hezb-i-Islami and 20 Taliban - have died so far. Our reports indicate that up to 19 civilians were also killed, Andarabi told AFP. Hezb-i-Islami, a faction loyal to former Afghan prime minister turned warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is the second biggest militant group. Andarabi said four Hezb-i-Islami commanders had surrendered to the government following the clashes, and more may follow. Murad Ali Murad, an army general, said Afghan security forces had sent reinforcements to the area, and said his initial reports suggested that 50 militants had been killed in the fighting. Qazi Burhaan, who calls himself a Hezb-i-Islami commander, told AFP by telephone on Saturday that fighting erupted after Taliban militants snatched some of his men. He said they had lost one fighter and killed 15 Taliban. The Taliban and Hezb-i-Islami have in the past differed over their policies, with Hekmatyar saying he is open to peace talks with the Afghan government and the US as long as foreign troops leave the country. The Taliban leadership, however, has in public ruled out any talks with the Americans or Karzais government.