Thursday, May 24, 2012

17 Taliban rebels killed, 54 detained in Afghan raids

KABUL, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Up to 17 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 54 others detained as Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops launched military operations in different provinces within the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

"Afghan police, army and international coalition forces launched nine cleanup operations in nine provinces, killing 17 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 54 other suspected insurgents over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates to media.

The joint forces also found and seized weapons including 10 AK- 47 guns besides defusing six anti-vehicles mines and discovering explosive materials, the statement said without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

They also confiscated six motorcycles which have been used by insurgents, it said.

However, the Taliban insurgent group, which announced the launching of a spring offensive from May 3 against Afghan and NATO forces, has not to make comments yet.

Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led coalition troops have recently intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militant groups throughout the country as spring and summer, known as "fighting season" draw near.

Over 800 insurgents have been killed and more than 1,450 others detained in the country so far this year, according to the figures released by the Afghan Interior Ministry.
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