Afghan forces kill 18 Taliban militants

    By IANS,

    Kabul: Operations against Taliban launched by Afghan forces have claimed lives of 18 Taliban militants and led to arrest of 35 others over the past five days, police said Friday.

    In the latest crackdown against the militant group, the security forces Thursday raided their hideouts in Charchino district of Uruzgan province, 370 km south of here, and killed 18 insurgents, Xinhua reported citing a police statement.

    “Security forces launched cleanup operation in Charchino district Thursday and so far 18 rebels including a Taliban local military leader Mawlawi Islam have been killed,” the statement said.

    Twelve more militants have been captured, it added.

    Police backed by the national army have arrested nearly two dozen Taliban militants over the past five days in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province, 250 km north of Kabul, provincial police chief Khalil Andarabi said Friday.

    “During the five-day operations which concluded Friday morning, police have captured 23 Taliban rebels and ensured law and order in 10 villages of Dasht-e-Archi district,” Andarabi said.

    No policemen or civilians were killed during the operations, he added.

    However the Taliban rejected police claims, saying the militants have inflicted casualties to the government forces.

    The armed militant group in a statement pasted on its website Friday claimed that they killed two policemen in Charchino district Thursday and inflicted casualties on Afghan and US forces in Herat and Paktia provinces Friday morning.

    Since warring sides in Afghanistan exaggerate the casualties of opponents, it is difficult to get verification from independent sources.