SHIBERGHAN, Afghanistan — At least 56 Taliban militants were killed, 10 others wounded and 23 more people captured in Afghanistan’s northern region on Friday, as Afghan government security forces continued fighting to prevent the militants from advancing, the military said on Saturday.
Forty-five militants were killed and 10 others wounded in attacks by security forces supported by Afghan Air Force targeting militants’ positions in some areas on southern outskirts of Shiberghan city, capital of Jawzjan province, army’s 209th Shaheen Corps said in a statement. Among the killed was a key divisional commander of the militants, Obaidullah, the statement said, adding several non-Afghan militants were among the casualties.
In the neighboring Sari Pul province, 11 Taliban militants were killed and 23 others captured as Afghan troops backed by local Public Uprising Forces launched a cleanup operation in villages of the remote Balkhab district, according to the statement.
The security forces also reopened Sari Pul-Jawzjan Highway No. 1, a provincial highway connecting the two neighboring provinces after one-month closure, the statement said.
The northern Afghan provinces have been the scene of heavy battles in recent weeks as Taliban militants captured scores of suburban districts since the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces on May 1. The militant group has yet to make comments on the casualties.