56 militants killed, 23 captured in N.Afghanistan
At least 56 Taliban militants were killed, 10 others wounded and 23 captured in Afghanistan's northern region, as security forces continued fighting to prevent the the group from advancing, the military said on Saturday.
Forty-five militants were killed and 10 others wounded in attacks by security forces supported by Afghan Air Force targeting militants' positions in the outskirts of Shiberghan city, capital of Jawzjan province, the Army's 209th Shaheen Corps said in a statement.
Among the killed was a key divisional commander of the militants, Obaidullah, the statement said, adding several non-Afghan militants were among the casualties, reports Xinhua news agency.
In the neighbouring Sari Pul province, 11 Taliban militants were killed and 23 others captured as Afghan troops backed by local Public Uprising Forces launched a clean-up operation in villages of the remote Balkhab district, according to the statement.
The security forces also reopened Sari Pul-Jawzjan Highway No. 1, a provincial highway connecting the two provinces after one-month closure, the statement said.
The northern Afghan provinces have been the scene of heavy battles in recent weeks as Taliban militants captured scores of suburban districts since the withdrawal of US-led forces on May 1.-IANS
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