25 Taliban militants surrender, 17 killed in Afghanistan

Kabul, Feb 5 (IANS) Amid ongoing militancy and government forces operations against armed militants in the northern Badakhshan and Kunduz provinces, over two dozen Taliban fighters have surrendered and 17 others have been killed over the past two days, officials said on Thursday.

A total of 25 Taliban militants have given up fighting and handed over their weapons to police in the northern Badakhshan province with Faizabad as its capital 315 km northwest of Kabul over the past two days, Xinhua quoted Ahmad Nawed Frotan, spokesman for provincial government, as saying.

“A total of 25 Taliban fighters under Sheikh Jamal who were active in Tishkan district over the past couple of years laid down arms and resumed normal life over the past two days,” Frotan said.

He also added that cleanup operations have been continuing in Tishkan and Tagab districts since mid January to kill or capture insurgents.

Taliban militants who are active in parts of Badakhshan province are yet to make comment.

Similarly, mounting pressure against Taliban in the northern Kunduz province have claimed the lives of 17 insurgents.

Citing a provincial security official, Mohammad Masoum Safi, local media reported on Thursday that clashes between security forces and Taliban militants in Ali Abad district of restive Kunduz province on Wednesday had left 17 armed insurgents, including two senior commanders of the militants – Mawlawi Niazi and Mawlawi Abdul Hai, dead.

In the meantime, Taliban confirmed in an online statement the clash in Ali Abad district, but insisted that two civilians had been killed and two others injured.

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