50 killed in Afghanistan clashes

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Kabul, Jan 21 (IANS) At least 50 people were killed in Afghanistan since Saturday as government forces and Taliban militants stepped up fighting in the war-battered country, officials said on Sunday.

Taliban militants targeted a security checkpoint in Karji area outside Farah city, capital of western Farah province on Sunday, killing five security personnel and injuring a few others, Xinhua reported citing deputy to provincial council Shah Mahmoud Naemi said.

The militants also abducted two oil tankers on the road linking Jawzjan provincial capital Shiberghan to Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province on Sunday morning.

Moreover, a suicide car bomb targeting the convoy of the governor of eastern Logar province on Sunday left eight persons dead and injured 10 others.

Most of the victims were the governor’s bodyguards. The governor escaped unhurt.

The Taliban outfit has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Meanwhile, government forces killed 20 armed insurgents in the northern Baghlan province over the past 24 hours, army spokesman in the province Ghulam Hazrat Karimi confirmed.

Similarly, eight militants were killed and six others injured as fighting aircrafts stormed Taliban hideouts in Ab Kamari district of the western Badghis province on Saturday.

The government forces also killed seven militants and injured 11 others in Qaisar district of the northern Faryab province.

In addition, spokesman for western Herat provincial governor, Jilani Farhad said on Sunday that a bomb blasted among Taliban militants in the restive Zirkoh district on Saturday, killing five insurgents and injuring four others.

Government forces, according to security officials, would continue to keep on pressure against militant groups in chilly winter to annihilate or reduce their fighting capabilities.

–IANS

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