15 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan within 24 hours: gov't

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-13 14:42:40

Military operations carried out by the Afghan police, army and the NATO-led coalition forces have claimed the lives of 15 Taliban militants in different Afghan provinces within the past 24 hours, authorities said Thursday.

"Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan army and intelligence agency in collaboration with the coalition forces launched 13 joint cleanup operations in Kapisa, Baghlan, Jowzjan, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Wardak, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours," the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement issued here.

"As a result of these operations, 15 armed Taliban were killed, four wounded and 10 others were arrested by the ANP," the statement said, adding that the joint forces also found and seized weapons and explosive during the above raids.

The statement did not say whether there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

However, the Taliban insurgent group, which announced the launching of an annual spring offensive from May 3 against Afghan and NATO forces, has not made comments yet.

Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led coalition troops have recently intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militants throughout the country.

As the militants are facing the ever-mounting pressure from the strikes launched by security forces, they have changed their tactics by avoiding direct conflicts with troops and shifting to attack on the so-called "soft targets" such as civilian, government agency buildings and infrastructure in a bid to force the government to stop the strikes against them.

Up to 30 people including eight policemen were killed and more than 30 others injured in two suicide bombings in northern Kunduz and western Herat province on Monday and Tuesday.

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