Taliban local leader killed in N. Afghanistan
A Taliban local leader was killed Thursday during a search operation carried out by Afghan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the country's northern Balkh province, NATO-led ISAF forces said, Xinhua reported.
"An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search for a Taliban leader in Mazar-i-Sharif district, Balkh province, today," the ISAF said in a press release.
"The leader was found armed and displaying hostile intent. The security forces responded to the immediate threat, engaged and killed the insurgent leader," it said.
The leader was responsible for the logistical and financial support of insurgent fighters throughout Nahrin district of neighboring Baghlan province. Additionally, he led a recent ambush attack against Afghan forces and buried roadside bombs throughout Baghlan, according to the release.
No civilians were injured during the operation in the province with Mazar-i-Sharif as its capital, some 305 km north of capital Kabul, the release further said.
Separately, a coalition security forces discovered a weapons cache during a routine patrol in Zhari district of southern Kandahar province on Wednesday.
"The cache consisted of seven mines, eight 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, one heavy machine gun and several improvised explosive device (IED) components. All of the weapons were confiscated from the scene to be destroyed at a later date," the release said.
A total of 15 people including seven policemen were killed and 31 others injured in three blasts, including two suicide bombings, in Kandahar city, the provincial capital of Kandahar province on Tuesday.
The Taliban insurgents, who launched in May 2011 a rebel offensive against Afghan and NATO forces, have yet to make comments.