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Afghan Forces' Offensives Leave 76 Militants Dead

13 January 2018

The military operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan, Ghazni, Uruzgan, Herat, Faryab and Jawzjan provinces, the ministry said.

Afghan security forces and the NATO-led coalition troops have beefed up security operations and airstrikes as Taliban militants and Islamic State fighters are attempting to take territory and consolidate their positions during the winter in the mountainous country.

The Taliban claimed the attack Thursday was carried out by two insurgent disguised as local militiamen. He refused to give further details including whether it involved a local militia. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press the attackers had infiltrated the local force months earlier.

In the months between June and November past year, U.S. Special Forces carried out at least 420 ground operations and 214 air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report in December.

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He said an air strike was then called in, killing 22 members of the militia force.

Three key Taliban commanders including Ehsanullah, Haidar and Qahraman were among those killed in the offensives, the statement said.

The incident occurred in Mohmand Valley, in Afghanistan's remote Achin district of Nangarhar province.

US and Afghan forces have been battling not only the Taliban but an affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group in the region.

Afghan Forces' Offensives Leave 76 Militants Dead