KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- A total of 16 Taliban militants including two local commanders have been killed since Sunday night in the northern Kunduz province as clashes going on between security forces and insurgents in parts of the province, officials said Monday.
"Security forces launched cleanup operations in Gultapa area outside provincial capital Kunduz city and Gumbaz area in Imam Sahib district last night and so 10 rebels have been killed there," provincial police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini told Xinhua.
Mawlawi Usman and Qari Akhtar the two local commanders of Taliban militants are among those killed during the crackdown, the official asserted.
Meanwhile, six more Taliban fighters were killed in Aqtash area of Khanabad district, Kunduz province as their hideouts came under air attack on Sunday night, a local official said. "Six Taliban rebels were killed as their hideouts was attacked by unmanned plane on Sunday night in Aqtash village of Khanabad district," Hayatullah Amiri, the governor of Khanabad district told Xinhua.
However, he didn't provide more details.
Kunduz has been the scene of heavy clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants over the past week during which hundreds of people have reportedly left their houses for safer places.
Majority of those left their houses for safer places are from Chardara, Dasht-e-Archi and Imam Sahib districts, according to local media reports.
Nonetheless, Kunduz Governor Ghulam Sakhi Baghlani in talks with media said that "a number of families have left their houses for provincial capital Kunduz city due to Taliban criminal activities."
However, police spokesman Hussani stressed that operations are underway to eliminate Taliban militants and ensure viable security in Kunduz province in its earliest.