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74 Taliban rebels killed in Kandahar airstrikes

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KABUL: At least 74 Taliban rebels were killed in the airstrikes conducted by the US and Afghan forces in southern Kandahar province, provincial officials said Saturday.

Provincial Police Spokesman, Jamal Nasir Barekzai said that aerial operations were carried out in Zari, Maiwand and Arghandab districts of the province.

According to him, the Afghan Air Force targeted the Taliban hideouts in the Zari, in which 34 militants were killed. In another airstrike conducted by the US Forces in camp-e-Mujahid areas located between Maiwand and Zari districts, he said “12 Taliban insurgents were killed.” The US Forces didn’t state any information in regards by far. Previously, after the US Forces conducted the airstrikes to support the Afghan security forces in ground fighting against the Taliban in southern Helmand province, the group blamed the US for violating its deal signed on February 29th. But in response to the US Forces Spokesman in Afghanistan, Sonny Leggett said that “these strikes are consistent with both the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and the Joint Declaration between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States.”

A number of airstrikes were launched in Chaharghulba, Khisro and Joy Lahor areas of Arghandab district, Barekzai said, adding that 28 Talban were killed and three others wounded. Security officials in Arghandab said the Taliban have been using civilian houses as shelter and staging attacks on the Afghan security forces in the district.

Meanwhile, a security source, who was talking on condition of anonymity, said that the Taliban has overrun several areas alongside the Kandahar-Herat highway.

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