World / Asia-Pacific

Over 100 Taliban killed by Afghan forces

By Agencies in Kabul/Kunduz, Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-15 07:12

Afghan security forces killed over 100 Taliban militants in military operations over a 24-hour period that began on Tuesday, the country's Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

"Afghan National Security Forces conducted several cleanup operations and battled militants in 12 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces within the last 24 hours, killing 105 Taliban militants," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operation updates.

Two militants were wounded and 10 others were arrested, the statement said, without saying if there were any casualties among security forces.

The raids follow the start of the Taliban's spring offensive on Monday, with a wave of attacks across the south and east of the country, killing 21 people.

Spring each year brings an escalation in fighting in Afghanistan with the end of snowy winter weather, which hampers movement. The melting of the snows opens up mountain passes, allowing militant forces to move in from refuges in neighboring Pakistan.

This year's offensive by the Taliban will be an important gauge of how well Afghan government forces face insurgent attacks once foreign combat forces leave at the end of the year.

Militant attacks

As the government was claiming success in its raids on Wednesday, militants carried out further attacks across the country.

Two police personnel, including a senior official, were injured in a blast in the city of Kunduz, 250 kilometers north of Kabul.

Meanwhile, a soldier was killed by a bomb stuck onto an Afghan army vehicle in Kabul, and a woman died when a rocket slammed into a residential area in the country's east.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a message to reporters.

In eastern Ghazni province, a rocket fired into a residential neighborhood of the provincial capital killed one woman and wounded a child on Wednesday, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

NATO supplies hit

Across the border in northwest Pakistan, government troops foiled an attack on a NATO supply terminal, killing one attacker and forcing others to flee, officials said.

The attack was mounted in the Jamrud area of the Khyber tribal district that borders Afghanistan, said government official Ali Sher.

"The militants started firing on the terminal and tried to enter it," Sher said, adding that the attack involved up to 12 people armed with automatic weapons and mortars.

"The Frontier Corps retaliated and forced the militants to flee, leaving one dead body behind."

AP - Xinhua - AFP

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