Afghan forces kill 44 Taliban militants in mop-up operations
Afghan army forces have killed 44 militants and wounded over six dozen others during clean-up operations across the country.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the 44 militants, including a field commander known by his nom de guerre Maula Zaman, were killed and 74 others injured during a series of operations carried out in the provinces of Baghlan, Helmand and Jawzjan.
The statement added that there were six fatalities on the side of the Afghan forces.
Afghan troopers also confiscated light and heavy weapons, and defused 21 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the operations.
This file photo shows masked Taliban militants at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.
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 witnessing violence.
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 will focus mainly on counter terrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.