Oct 23 2013, 10:04am CDT | by IANS
Kabul, Oct 23 — At least 48 Taliban militants and a key commander were killed in Afghanistan over Tuesday and Wednesday in cleanup operations against the militants in parts of the conflict-ridden country even as 10 militants laid down arms before authorities.
The Afghan interior ministry in a statement released here Wednesday claimed killing four dozen Taliban militants over the past 24 hours across the country.
"Afghan National Police backed by the units of national army and the coalition forces conducted several joint clearance operations in Nangarhar, Baghlan, Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces over the past 24 hours which left 48 armed Taliban rebels dead, 38 wounded and six others were arrested," Xinhua reported citing the statement.
It did not mentioned any casualties among security personnel
Meanwhile, a key commander of the armed outfit was also killed in Herat province Tuesday night, Naqibullah Balouch, an army officer said Wednesday.
"Acting upon intelligence report, the security forces operations in Adraskan district late Tuesday night, killing Taliban famous commander Mullah Isa and arrested two of his bodyguards," Balouch told Xinhua.
The elimination of Mullah Isa is a big blow to the Taliban militants in the western region, he said.
Taliban militants fighting the government and NATO-led forces were yet to make comment.
Afghan security forces had also launched a big operation against a Taliban bastion in Ghorband district of Parwan province 75 km north of Kabul Tuesday morning and the operation would continue till Taliban militants are swept out and viable security could be ensured in the mountainous area.
In another development a 10-member group of Taliban fighters laid down arms and resumed normal life in the western Herat province Wednesday, as security forces mounted pressure on the armed outfit.
"Today we are the witness of giving up fighting by 10 dissident brothers in Chasht district of Herat province and resuming normal life within society," Herat provincial governor Sayed Fazlulah Wahidi said in his speech in a ceremony to welcome the former militants.
The former fighters also handed over their weapons to the local authorities, he added.
Wahidi also called upon anti-government militants to follow their step and contribute to the rebuilding process of Afghanistan.
In a separate incident, Taliban militants abducted a government employee in Farah province and killed him Wednesday, spokesman for provincial government Abdul Rahman Zhawandon said.
"The Taliban rebels kidnapped an employee of rural development department in Farah province this morning and shot him dead after keeping him in captivity for a few hours," Zhawandon told Xinhua without giving more details.
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