20 militants killed in Afghanistan

Kabul, Aug 25 : At least 20 militants were killed, five wounded and nine others arrested during operations by security forces in Afghanistan's several provinces, Afghan interior ministry said Saturday.

"Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) conducted several cleanup operations with the cooperation of coalition forces in Laghman, Baghlan, Kunduz, Kandahar, Zabul, Herat, Badghis and Helmand provinces over the last 24 hours. As a result, 20 armed Taliban were killed, five wounded and nine others were arrested," the ministry said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

In an unrelated development, unknown armed men shot dead five civilians in Afghanistan's Kunduz province Friday, an official said.

"The gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in Aliabad district late Friday, killing three women, one child and one man travelling in the vehicle," district administrative chief of Aliabad Mahbubullah Sayedi said.

He added that the motive behind the shooting was not clear.

Up to 1,319 civilians were killed and 2,533 injured in conflict-related violence in Aghanistan in the first half of the year, a 23 percent rise in overall civilian casualties compared with last year, according to a UN report released last month.

--IANS (Posted on 25-08-2013)

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