KABUL, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Up to 23 Taliban militants have been killed and 13 others detained in operations in different Afghan provinces within the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
"Afghan National Police (ANP) supporting by army and the NATO- led coalition forces conducted nine cleanup operations in Kunar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Wardak, Helmand and Khost provinces, killing 23 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 13 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.
The ANP also found weapons besides defusing 19 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), it added, without saying if were any casualties on the side of security forces.
The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency since its regime was toppled by a U.S-led invasion in late 2001, has yet to make comments.
Afghan forces and some 100,000 NATO-led coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militant groups recently but militants responded by carrying out armed attacks and IED bombings.
On Wednesday night, militants set on fire a middle school in Gereshk district in the country's southern province of Helmand, the district administrative chief Ghirat Waziri said, blaming Taliban for the incident.