KABUL (AFP) — About 40 militants were killed in separate incidents in troubled parts of Afghanistan in operations by Afghan forces with the support of international military air power, officials said Tuesday.
US-led coalition forces bombed a Taliban gathering in Giro district in central Ghazni province early Tuesday, killing 22 militants and wounding another eight, provincial spokesman Ismail Jahangir told AFP.
The coalition confirmed the operation but only said "several militants" were killed.
Two other rebels were slain in a firefight with Afghan soldiers elsewhere the same day, Jahangir said.
Separately, 10 Taliban, including a local commander, were killed Tuesday in another Ghazni district in an operation carried out by the Afghan army, police and coalition forces, district police chief Faiz Mohammad Tophan told AFP.
Ghazni, which lies on the road between Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar, has experienced a surge in Taliban-linked unrest in the past year amid rising violence in other parts of the wartorn country.
Taliban militants ambushed an Afghan army convoy in Kandahar province on Monday, sparking a battle in which the coalition provided air support for Afghan ground forces, the defence ministry said in a statement.
"More than 10 terrorists were killed and wounded in the incident," the ministry said.
A bomb blast in the southern town of Lashkar Gah killed two Afghan soldiers on Monday, the ministry said, while in Helmand province, a Taliban ambush of army vehicles left five militants slain or wounded.
The violence -- part of a steady stream of attacks that make up the Taliban insurgency -- was mostly in remote areas and it was difficult to confirm the information.
The Islamic Taliban militia was in government between 1996 and 2001. They are leading an insurgency against the Afghan government, which is backed by about 70,000 international troops.
More than 1,100 Afghan policemen have died in the insurgency over the past year, the interior ministry said Tuesday. It could not provide comparable data for previous years.
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