44 killed in Afghan clashes

Kabul: At least 44 people were killed as clashes flared up between security forces and militants in Afghanistan's Nangarhar and Badakhshan provinces, officials said. At least 30 Islamic State (IS) militants and three civilians were killed during clashes in Nangarhar on Friday, Khamaa Press reported on Saturday. The incident took place after the IS militants launched a coordinated attack on police check posts. Meanwhile, at least 11 people were killed in a gun fight between security forces and Taliban militants in Badakhshan, a senior police official said on Saturday. "The clash flared up in Arghanjkha district on Friday and lasted for hours during which eight Taliban militants and three police personnel were killed," Xinhua quoted the official as saying. Meantime, locals said sporadic fighting continued in the area since Friday. Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Majahid in contact with the media on Thursday claimed capturing Shiwa area after heavy fighting with government forces. However, the official rebuffed the Taliban claim, saying Shiwa and adjoining areas were in full control of security forces.