Kabul, Sep 19 (BNO NEWS): More than 40 Taliban militants were killed during the weekend in several operations across the war-torn country of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.
Pajhwok Afghan News reported that 20 Taliban militants were killed and 30 others wounded in a two-day operation in the eastern province of Nuristan. The air and ground offensive was carried out in Aula Gul and Pul-i-Rustam areas of Barg-i-Matal district, Governor Tamim Nuristani told the agency.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed 16 militants were killed and eight others were injured. He added that nine foreign soldiers and eight Afghan soldiers were allegedly killed in the battle, although these numbers were not confirmed and the Taliban is known to fabricate accounts of casualties.
Meanwhile, security officials said that 21 militants were killed and 18 others were injured in southern Kandahar province. Speaking at a news conference, provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Razaq, said the insurgents were killed in Kandahar City and other districts.
He said 21 bomb remote-control devices and 13 motorbikes were recovered from the rebels. In addition, 70 walkie-talkies and 167 roadside bombs were also seized during the operations.
On Saturday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a press release that an estimated 70 insurgents were killed during operations in Nuristan on Friday. It added that one ISAF soldier died during the operation.
There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 10,000 American troops later this year, with another 23,000 U.S. troops to return home next year.
So far this year, at least 435 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are American and are killed in the country's south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. The deadliest incident happened last month when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.