15 militants killed in Afghan operations within day: Government

     Afghan police, backed by the army and the NATO-led coalition forces, have eliminated 15 Taliban militants in five provinces within the past 24 hours, the country' s Ministry of Interior Affairs said Wednesday. "Afghan National Police (ANP) in collaboration with army and coalition forces carried out seven cleanup operations in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Paktika, Paktia and Helmand provinces, killing 15 armed Taliban militants and detaining five other armed suspects over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement providing the daily operational updates. They also found and seized weapons, the statement said, without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

The Taliban insurgents, who have been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, have yet to confirm the death of their insurgents. The Afghan forces and some 100,000 NATO-led coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militants throughout the country recently but the insurgents in retaliation responded by carrying out suicide attacks and roadside bombings especially in southern and eastern parts of the country. Up to six members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) were killed and one was wounded when a roadside bomb they were defusing went off in southern Helmand province earlier Wednesday.

The NATO and US-funded ALP or community police was established in August 2010 to protect villages and districts around the insurgency-hit country where Afghan army and police have limited presence.

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