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Afghan airstrikes kill 31 militants: officials

AFP  |  Ghazni 

Thirty-one militants, many of them believed to have been fighters, have been killed in airstrikes in south-eastern Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

The strikes were carried out in province late Wednesday, where the defence ministry said they targeted a "base" belonging to the militants.

"Qari Aref, one of the facilitators (for Al-Qaeda) was transferring these 31 terrorists, including nine suicide bombers, in several cars when targeted by airstrikes and eliminated," the ministry said.

It described the fighters as all belonging to the Middle Eastern group, although a for the governor said fighters from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network were also present.

The defence ministry did not specify who carried out the airstrikes. Only Afghan and US forces in conduct airstrikes.

The governor's spokesman, Mohammed Aref Noori, said the strikes had been carried out by US forces, but there was no immediate confirmation of his claim.

is still believed to be active in parts and Pakistan, where some of its surviving leadership such as are thought to be hiding.

While still regarded as a threat by Afghan and US officials, the group has not been able to conduct major attacks in or repeat the spectacular success of the September 11, 2001 attacks by hijacked airliners on and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 19:15 IST