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Mine blast kills 5 Taliban, injures commander

Kabul/Maimana (Afghanistan), July 25 (UNI/Xinhua): Five Taliban militants were killed and a key commander, Mufti Ismael, sustained injury as a mine blast struck their car in Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province on Sunday, police said.

“Taliban key commander Mufti Ismael after attending a Taliban commanders’ meeting in Shirin Tagab district this afternoon were going somewhere when a mine blast targeted his car killing five of his bodyguards and injuring him,” a statement of the Faryab police said.

Taliban militants have overrun all seven districts of Faryab province and have been mounting pressure on the provincial capital Maimana city, 425 km northwest of Kabul.

The militant group has not commented on Sunday’s incident.

Meanwhile, in southern Helmand province, a total of 25 militants were killed on Saturday as fighting planes targeted Taliban militants’ hideouts and positions, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The fighting planes, according to the statement, struck Taliban militants’ hideouts and positions in parts of Nad Ali and Sangin districts late on Saturday, killing 25 armed militants.

A weapon cache of the armed group had also been smashed due to the air attacks, the statement further said.

The Taliban outfit, which controls at least six districts in Helmand province with Lashkar Gah as its capital has yet to make comments.

The Afghan forces earlier claimed killing 81 militants in Kaldar and Chamtal districts of northern Balkh province on Saturday.

Fighting has intensified in Afghanistan since early May when the US-led coalition forces began withdrawal from the war-torn country.

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