KABUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- More than two dozen fighters including seven militants affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) outfit and 14 Taliban insurgents have been killed over the past 24 hours as Afghan forces stepped up counter-insurgency operations in the war-plagued country, officials said Friday.
In the latest onslaught, the government forces targeted Taliban positions in Dawlat Abad district of the northern Faryab province on Thursday night, killing eight fighters including Qari Sebghatullah, the shadow intelligence chief of the armed group in Faryab and the neighboring Jawzjan and Badghis provinces, an army spokesman in the northern region Abdul Hadi Jamal has reported.
Similarly, the government forces stormed Taliban hideouts in Chamtal district of the northern Balkh province on Thursday night, killing six militants including eminent commander Mawlawi Badar on the spot, said the spokesman Jamal.
Taliban militants who have increased activities and rejected the government claim for killing Qari Sebghatullah in Faryab province, attacked some security checkpoints in Faizabad district of the neighboring Jawzjan province early on Friday, triggering gun battle which lasted for several hours, during which five security personnel had been killed, a Provincial Council member Jalaludin Niazi said on Friday.
Meantime, the government forces in strike against Islamic State (IS) group, targeted its hideout in Abe village of Haska Mina district in the eastern Nangarhar province on late Thursday, killing seven fighters and injuring another.
Security officials say that the government forces would continue to mount pressure on anti-government militants in the freezing winter to reduce the militant groups' abilities.