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Afghan forces kill 61 Taliban militants during cleanup operations

Afghan security personnel arrive in the northern city of Kunduz, April 30, 2015. (© AFP)

Afghan forces have killed more than 60 Taliban militants and wounded over two dozen others during various clean-up operations across the war-stricken country over the past 24 hours, Press TV reports.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that 61 militants were killed and 28 others injured in a series of operations carried out in the provinces of Faryab, Helmand, Heart, Kandahar, Kapisa, Kunduz, Maidan Wardak, Paktia, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan and Zabul.

The statement added that as many as three militants were also arrested during the offensives. It did not, however, mention whether there were any casualties on the side of the Afghan forces.

Afghan soldiers also confiscated light and heavy weapons and defused 13 rounds of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still beset with insecurity.

At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. NATO says the forces focus mainly on counter-terrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.

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