KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN        -        Dozens of Taliban fighters stormed three checkposts in pre-dawn raids in northern Afghanistan Tuesday, killing at least eight security personnel, in the latest attack on government forces ahead of expected peace talks. It comes after authorities this week accused the Taliban of increasing attacks on Afghan forces at a time when both sides are preparing to start delayed negotiations. The simultaneous raids on one army and two police checkpoints in Kunduz province led to fierce gunfights that lasted for hours, officials said. Eight members of Afghan security forces were killed and seven more were wounded in the fighting, district head Nasruddin Saadi said. Kunduz provincial governor spokesman Esmatullah Muradi confirmed the coordinated attack but said nine security personnel were killed in the night-time battle. The Taliban have so far not commented.