Afghan security forces backed by aircraft in crackdown against militants have killed 61 armed insurgents from Taliban and the Islamic State (IS), or Daesh groups, in the troubled southern and eastern parts of the conflict-ridden country over the past days, officials said Sunday.
In the latest operations against the hardliner Taliban outfit, 45 Taliban fighters were killed as aircraft pounded their hideouts in Sangin district of the southern Helmand province on Saturday night, police spokesman in the province, Shah Mahmood Ashna said Sunday.
"The air raid was conducted on Taliban militants' positions in Choghak locality of Sangin district Saturday night, killing 45 armed militants on the spot," Ashna told Xinhua.
He also said that the insurgents were attempting to target security checkpoints in the district but pre-emptive air strikes, which also left several militants injured, had foiled their plan for attack.
Taliban militants have yet to make comment.
In a similar crackdown against anti-government militants on the same day, Saturday, 16 militants loyal to the hardliner Islamic State had been killed in Achin district of the eastern Nangarhar province, an army spokesman in the province, Neman Atefi said.
According to Atefi, 16 Daesh fighters had been killed and five others sustained injuries as units of national army have been combing up parts of Achin district over the past 24 hours.
Militants loyal to the group have penetrated parts of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province including in Achin district along the border with Pakistan's tribal area over the past six months.
However, government forces have launched cleanup operations and so far some 200 Daesh fighters, according to officials have been killed or injured.