At Least 13 Militants Killed In Afghan Air Strikes, Say Officials

Afghan officials say at least 13 militants, including five Islamic State (IS) fighters were killed in air strikes across the country in the past 24 hours.

The air strikes took place in southeastern Paktika and northern Jowzjan and Sar-e Pul provinces, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on July 1.

Jowzjan police chief Abdul Hafiz Khoshi said the five IS militants were killed when their vehicle was hit by air strikes in Jowzjan's Qush-Teppa district.

The Interior Ministry statement said that Afghan security forces "have stepped up counterterrorism operations" against "antigovernment militant groups."

Police in the northern province of Faryab say security forces repelled attacks by Taliban militants that targeted several police outposts in Dawlat Abad district on June 30.

Provincial police spokesman Karim Yurish said two Taliban militants were killed and three others wounded in the clashes. He said there were casualties among government forces and civilians.

Meanwhile, seven civilians, including women and children were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in eastern Nangarhar Province, the local government said.

Attaullah Khugyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar's governor, said five others were wounded in the blast in the volatile Achin district on June 30.

So-called improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a major cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Militants plant IEDs on roads to target security forces but mostly the bombs kill or maim civilians.

With reporting by dpa