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Taliban key commander killed in Afghanistan, operation to recapture district in north continues

Amid the ongoing militancy and counter- militancy in war-torn Afghanistan, the government forces have killed a Taliban key commander in the western Herat province on Saturday while operations for regaining the control of Dasht-e- Archi district in the northern Kunduz province have been going on Since Friday.

"Hajji Wazir, the commander of Taliban militants in west Afghanistan who was in a house to chalk out terrorist plan but the security forces acting upon intelligence report raided the house early Saturday and killed him on the spot," Herat provincial police chief Abdul Majid Rozi told Xinhua.

The killed Taliban commander was commanding some 500 armed insurgents and his murder could be a major setback to the Taliban outfit in Herat and adjoining provinces, the official asserted.

Taliban militants fighting the government to regain power have yet to make comment.

Moreover, the conflict has claimed the lives of 16 Taliban militants and injured four government troops over the control of Dasht-e-Archi district in the northern Kunduz province since Friday, spokesman for provincial government Abdul Wadood Wahidi said Saturday. "Since launching the counter-offensive in Dasht-e-Archi district on Friday morning 16 Taliban rebels have been killed and several others injured," Wadood told reporters.

Four security personnel were injured in the past two days during the operations in the district, the official added.

Meantime, Zabihullah Mujahid who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit, in contact with media confirmed the fighting in Dasht-e-Archi but insisted the district headquarters is still in Taliban control.

Taliban militants captured Chardara and Dasht-e-Archi districts in Kunduz province some two weeks ago. However, the government forces have already regain the control of Chardara but the operation for evicting Taliban from Dasht-e-Arch district has been continuing.

Taliban militants have intensified activities since April 24 when the armed outfit launched its annual spring offensive and since then have carried out series of massive attacks in different provinces to demonstrate its fighting strength.

The hardliner group has been fighting government forces in Jalriz district of the eastern Wardak province, 35 km west of the capital city Kabul over the past three days.

[Source: Xinhua, Kabul, 04Jul15]

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