Afghanistan: Eight militants including a Taliban key commander were killed in the northern Faryab province by Afghan security officials on Wednesday, stated officials. In the firing, 10 militants and two security personnel were injured.

Army spokesman Abdul Hadi Jamal told Xinhua news agency, “Acting upon intelligence report, the security forces targeted a Taliban hideout in Qurghan district, killing eight rebels including Taliban key commander Qari Hamidullah and his deputy Mistary Mahmoud on the spot.”Jamal reportedly said that the Afghan operation is likely to continue till the insurgents in the area were cleared off. The firing operation began late on Tuesday night in Andkhoi and Qurghan districts.

On December 2, a top Taliban leader was allegedly killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan. Abdul Manan was the Taliban “shadow governor” for Helmand province in the south, a key territory for the group, which also gave him control over a large part of the group’s finances, reported Efe news. Manan’s death was considered as the greatest loss for the Taliban since 2016 when the group’s leader, Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a US drone strike in western Pakistan.

The killing of Mansour sank the prospects for peace talks at the time as the Taliban resented the loss of its chief. The latest airstrike was near the town of Sangeen in Helmand, Taliban sources said.

On November 26, at least 22 police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush in western Afghanistan, said a health official. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a WhatsApp message, saying 25 police were killed and four wounded.

(With Agency inputs)