KABUL, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Continued militancy and Afghan forces' military operations on anti-government militants have claimed the lives of 23 insurgents, 11 of them in Khakriz district of Taliban former stronghold Kandahar province, over the past two days, officials said on Sunday.
Eleven armed insurgents were killed during a joint operation of Afghan and the NATO-led coalition forces in Khakriz district of Kandahar province on Saturday, said provincial administration spokesman Jawed Faisal.
"The joint operations of Afghan and the coalition forces was conducted in Baghak area of Khakriz district yesterday and lasted for few hours during which 11 Taliban rebels had been killed," Faisal told Xinhua.
The operation was carried out when some 20 Taliban fighters were meeting in a house to device their subversive plans, the official said.
An Afghan senior army officer in the province, General Abdul Hamid Hamid, confirmed the operations but declined to disclose the casualties of Taliban militants or security personnel.
Kandahar, the birthplace and former stronghold of Taliban militants, has seen an increasing militancy over the past few years.
The Afghan Interior Ministry in a statement released on Sunday reported the death of 12 Taliban fighters during a series of operations carried out over the past 24 hours.
Five more militants were arrested during the operations, according to the ministry statement, but it did not say if there were any casualties on the security forces.
The Taliban outfit also posted a statement on its website, claiming they had killed over two dozen security personnel elsewhere in the conflict-ridden country over the past two days.
It is difficult to verify the casualties of warring sides in Afghanistan as each side exaggerates the fatalities of rivals in the conflict.