22 militants killed in Afghan military operations

Kabul:At least 22 militants were killed in the past 24 hours during military operations by Afghan security forces in the country's 11 provinces, authorities said on Wednesday. "A total of 21 militants were also wounded during the joint military operations," Xinhua news agency quoted the Defence Ministry as saying in a statement. The statement also confirmed the loss of seven army personnel during the operations. The ground forces, supported by artillery and air power, have also seized weapons and defused landmines during the raids, the statement noted. In northern Kunduz province, the security forces cleared several villages overnight, killing seven militants and wounding five others, a police official said. The militants have been clashing with security forces in Kunduz city over the past couple of days as they tried to overrun the city which was briefly seized by the Taliban in late September last year. Kunduz province and neighbouring Baghlan and Takhar provinces have been the scene of heavy fighting over the past couple of months as the Taliban try to challenge the government forces in the once relatively peaceful region. IANS