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18 militants killed in northern Afghan clashes

WT24 Desk

MAIMANA – As many as 18 Taliban militants, including three local insurgents’ commanders, were killed in clashes in Afghanistan’s northern province of Faryab, police said Thursday,BSS reports.

The clashes occurred within the last 24 hours, when fighters loyal to the Taliban attacked security checkpoints in Pashtun Kot, Ghormach and Almar districts, but faced harsh military reaction from the area’s government security forces, Sayyed Sarwar Housaini, police spokesman of 707 Pamir Police Zone based in the region, told Xinhua.

“Among those killed militants were three local Taliban commanders, Qari Salahuddin, Mawlavi Belal, Taliban’s military leader for Ghormach district and Qari Zainullah known as Khaled, and 13 other militants were injured by the fighting,” he said.

In addition, one civilian and one militia of pro-government local militias, known as local uprising group, were also killed and two civilians wounded in the incidents, according to the police spokesman.

Sporadic clashes were continuing in the districts, in the province, 425 km northwest of Kabul Thursday morning, he noted. The Taliban has confirmed the incident but yet to comment on their casualties.

Fighting has escalated in Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgency spreads from its traditional strongholds in the south and east to the once peaceful region in the north, where the militants have been recruiting from among the youth.

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