17 militants killed, 12 wounded in Afghan violence


KABUL, Dec. 7 — Armed clashes have killed 17 insurgents and injured 12 others, including seven civilians in militancy-hit Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, officials said on Monday.

In the latest violent incident that happened in the form of suicide bombing in Surkhrod district of the eastern Nangarhar province Monday morning, the bomber was killed and 12 others injured.

“The bloody bombing took place at around 6:00 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) when a militant riding an explosive-laden truck blew it up in front of the Surkhrod police station, killing himself and injuring 12 people, including five police and seven civilians,” a local police official told Xinhua but declined to be identified.

However, eyewitnesses at the site of the blast said that more than 20 people, including seven police, sustained injuries in the blast.

Local officials blamed the enemies of peace, a reference to the Taliban for the bloody attack. The armed outfit, which is largely relying on suicide and roadside bombing, is yet to claim responsibility.

More than two dozen shops and houses were also destroyed or badly damaged due to the blast, according to the eyewitnesses and local officials.

Meanwhile, Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that 16 armed militants were killed during series of operations in the conflict-ridden country over the past 24 hours.

During the operations in parts of Nangarhar, Samangan, Takhar, Kunduz, Faryab, Balkh, Kandahar, Zabul, Ghazni, Paktika, Paktia and Helmand provinces, five more militants were arrested, the statement said.

Both the anti-government militants and government forces, according to local political and military experts, would do their best to gain more grounds and strengthen their positions before snowfall in the mountainous country.



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