Thirty-five Taliban killed in US airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Balkh province

At least 35 Taliban militants were killed and 40 others wounded in US airstrikes in northern Balkh province, Afghanistan National Army (ANA) officials said on Saturday.

The airstrikes were carried out in close cooperation with the Afghan commandos and lasted 40 minutes, TOLOnews reported, quoting an army official.

The airstrikes targeted Arzankar village in Chahar Bolak district. Commandos then launched operations and cleared the village of Taliban, said Mohammad Hanif Rezaye, spokesman for 209 Shaheen Military Corps in Balkh.

According to Rezaye, a Taliban stronghold and dozens of their weapons were destroyed in the airstrikes.

A clearing operation was launched a week ago to maintain security of vulnerable areas in Chahar Bolak district.

Balkh, one of Afghanistan´s more stable provinces with valuable trade crossings into Central Asia, is a long way from the Taliban heartlands in the south and is considered far more secure than neighbouring Kunduz province, where the Taliban dominate many areas.

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