10 militants killed in E. Afghan operation: official
At least 10 Taliban militants were killed in an operation in eastern Afghanistan's Laghman province overnight, a provincial government spokesman said Monday morning, Xinhua reported.
"Based on intelligence, an Afghan army and the NATO-led coalition forces unit carried out a search operation in Alishing district Sunday night and the joint forces engaged a group of armed militants in the area," spokesman Sarhadi Zhwak told Xinhua.
He said the two sides exchanged fire for quite a long time and several militants fled the area but the fighting left 10 militants dead.
A Taliban shadowy governor for Alishing district named Mullah Hazrat and three other Taliban local leaders named Hattahullah, Safiullah and Khudi Noor were among the killed in the raid in the province some 90 km east of capital Kabul, he said.
However, the Taliban insurgent group, which announced the launching of an annual spring offensive from May 3 against Afghan and NATO forces, has not confirmed the death of its insurgents so far.
The Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militants throughout the country recently but the insurgents in retaliation responded by carrying out suicide attacks and roadside bombings especially in southern and eastern parts of the country.
Two civilians were killed and 19 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks in eastern Paktia and western Farah province on Sunday.