Afghan police, backed by army and NATO-led forces, eliminated 18 Taliban militants and detained 23 other suspects during a series of operations across the country within the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Sunday morning. "The joint forces launched nine joint cleanup operations in Nuristan, Parwan, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Helmand, Logar, Ghazni, and Khost provinces, killing 18 armed Taliban insurgents and capturing 23 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement. They also found and seized weapons, the statement said, without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces. The Taliban insurgents, who announced on May 2 that they would launch a spring rebel offensive starting from May 3 to target Afghan forces as well as U.S. and NATO troops across the country, have yet to make comments. Taliban carried out a suicide attack against a police checkpoint in eastern Khost province killing 10 civilian and three Afghan policemen and injuring six others on Saturday afternoon.