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26 IS fighters killed in conflicts in E. Afghanistan

KABUL, March 13 (Xinhua) — Afghan security forces crackdown against militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group and premature bomb blast have claimed the lives of 26 armed insurgents in the eastern Nangarhar province over the past couple of weeks.

A statement released by the Nangarhar provincial government said on Sunday that the ongoing crackdown, which covered parts of Achin district over the past couple of weeks, has claimed the lives of 24 IS militants and injured several others.

The militants have been killed in Deh Sarak and Pansar areas of Achin district, said the statement.

Militants loyal to IS who are active in parts of the mountainous Achin, Mohmand and Kot districts haven’t responded to the official statement.

On Saturday, two IS fighters were killed and three others injured as an explosive device they were planting along a main road in Achin district to target security forces, police said.

Reporting the bloody incident, police spokesman of Nangarhar province, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, told media on Sunday that two IS militants were killed and three others sustained injuries as their explosive device went off accidentally in Mazdaki Kandaw village of Achin district late on Saturday.

On the same way, a bomb blast claimed the life of a child and injured three others in Taliban former stronghold the troubled Helmand province, some 555 km south of Kabul on Saturday, a local official, Omar Zawak, told local media.

Both the IS militants and Taliban insurgents intensified attacks over the past couple of months, especially in the countryside.

Since Jan. 1 last year, Afghan security forces have assumed the full security charges from NATO and the United States forces after the foreign troops switched mission from combat to support role, which focuses on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces.

Nearly 13,000 foreign forces are currently stationed in the militancy-hit country and backing Afghan forces in the war on insurgents.

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