Afghan soldiers have killed 48 militants in two operations in southern Afghanistan aimed at clearing Taliban strongholds ahead of presidential elections in August, officials and the army said today. Local troops backed by the Nato-led international forces stormed a militant stronghold in the southern province of Uruzgan on Tuesday, killing 23 insurgents, the Afghan army Gen Sher Mohammad Zazai said.
"We had an operation in Chinarto area last night during which we located a Taliban hideout. We killed 23 enemy fighters," Gen Zazai said. Fighter jets from the Nato force took part in the battle close to the provincial capital of Tirin Kot and near the Pakistan border, he added. The operation was part of an anti-insurgent drive recently launched to dislodge Taliban militants from their strongholds ahead of the Aug 20 presidential elections, the general said.
The Afghan defence ministry reported separately that troops had killed 25 "terrorists" in a three-day clean-up operation that ended on Tuesday in the southern province of Helmand. *AFP