Over 570 Taliban militants killed by forces in last 24 hours, claims Afghan Defence Ministry

US-backed Afghan forces launched an offensive against Taliban militants in different locations across Afghanistan on Saturday, killing over 570 militants and injuring 309 others, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence stated.

Afghan forces, with the support of the US Air Force, have launched retaliatory action against the Taliban which has been actively occupying territories in the country ahead of the formal exit of US troops.

“572 Taliban terrorists were killed and 309 others wounded as a result of ANDSF operations in Nangarhar, Laghman, Ghazni, Paktia, Paktika, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Herat, Farah, Jowzjan, Sar-e Pol, Faryab, Helmand, Nimruz, Takhar, Kunduz, Badakhshan and Kapisa provinces during the last 24 hours,” Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said in a tweet.

The ministry also said that at least 45 Taliban militants, including three Pakistanis affiliated to terror group Al-Qaeda, were killed in airstrikes on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province of Afghanistan on Saturday night. Mawlavi Hijrat, the head of Taliban for Helmand, was killed in the airstrikes.

Read: Taliban continues to enjoy safe haven in Pakistan: Afghanistan envoy to UN

In another airstrike at Dand, Zherai districts and the outskirts of Kandahar provincial center, at least 47 Taliban militants were killed and 26 others were wounded, the Afghan Defence Ministry claimed.

On Friday, the Afghan forces claimed to have killed 112 Taliban militants, including 30 Pakistanis, affiliated with Al-Qaeda at the outskirts of Lashkar Gah.

Heavy fighting has taken place in and around Lashkar Gah and both US and Afghan government air forces have conducted airstrikes in the city. The Taliban control nine of the city’s 10 police districts, according to the Associated Press.

Taliban takes hold of Kunduz province

On Sunday, the Taliban took control of parts of the capital of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, the Associated Press quoted council member Ghulam Rabani Rabani as saying.

Ghulam Rabani Rabani said most parts of Kunduz city were under the Taliban’s control, with fighting around the governor’s office and police headquarters. The main prison building in Kunduz was under Taliban control, he told AP.

Also Read: Head of Afghanistan government’s media department killed by Taliban fighters

Also Read: Afghan air force launch airstrikes on Taliban in southern Afghanistan; insurgents gain in north

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