16 Taliban militants killed in Afghan clashes, violence rages

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KABUL: As many as sixteen Taliban militants were killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) they were building accidently detonated in eastern Ghazni province yesterday, provincial police said in a statement.

At least 11 security force members and 67 Taliban militants have been killed in clashes in five Afghan provinces as fighting rages elsewhere in the country, officials said yesterday.

Violence has been on the rise as Afghan security forces struggle against a surge in attacks by militants at the time when the country is preparing for the parliamentary and district councils elections slated for later this month.

During the upcoming October 20 elections, more than 54,000 Afghan army soldiers and police personnel would be deployed to provide security for 5,100 polling stations across the country.

In latest clashes, in northern Jawzjan province, six Afghan army soldiers, two pro-government local militiamen and about 30 Taliban militants were killed and 19 militants and four security forces were injured after security forces repulsed a Taliban attack on an army camp and nearby security checkpoints in Quesh Tepa district overnight, deputy provincial police chief Kamaluddin Yawar told Xinhua.

In western Badghis province, heavy clashes erupted after Taliban militants stormed Jawand district headquarter and security checkpoints around the district center Sunday night, Naqibullah Amini, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua. —Agencies

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