44 militants killed in Afghanistan

Kabul, Nov 1 (IANS) At least 44 Taliban militants were killed in Aghanistan’s southern Helmand and northern Kunduz provinces on Sunday, officials said.

“Scores of Taliban militants stormed police checkpoints in Nahr-e-Saraj district at 10.00 a.m. (local time) on Sunday which triggered heavy gun battle and lasted till 3.00 p.m. (local time) leaving 30 insurgents dead, forcing others to flee,” Xinhua quoted Helmand province police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil as saying

In a similar clash with the security forces, 14 militants were killed in Dasht-e-Archi district of northern Kunduz province.

“Security forces launched operations against Taliban hideouts in Nahr-e-Kohna village of Dasht-e-Archi district early Sunday and so far, 14 rebels including Mullah Shakib, the Taliban shadow governor of the district, have been killed,” district governor Nasrudin Saadi told Xinhua.

Only one police constable sustained injuries in the exchange of fire in southern Helmand, which lasted for five hours, provincial police chief Mullahkhil said.

Crackdown against militants would continue until peace and security return to the area, the official said.

The militants, according to Mullahkhil, were attempting to block the road linking Helmand provincial capital Lashkar Gah to Kandahar but police foiled their design.

Dasht-e-Archi, another area where the rebels were killed, had served as Taliban bastion in Kunduz and adjoining Baghlan and Takhar provinces from where the militants organised their offensives against government interests.

The Taliban militants were yet to make any comment.

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