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Kabul: At least 82 militants have been confirmed dead as warplanes pounded Taliban hideouts and positions in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, the former stronghold of the militant group, a top police official said on Sunday.

The sorties began on Saturday night in parts of the restive Arghandab district, Xinhua news agency quoted the provincial police spokesman as saying.

Besides killing 82 armed insurgents including Taliban’s key commander Sarhadi, two tanks and several vehicles of the insurgents have also been destroyed, the spokesman said.

Without hinting at possible casualties of the security personnel, he said the clean-up operations backed by warplanes were still continuing in parts of the troubled district.

Taliban militants who are active in parts of Kandahar province are yet to comment on the airstrikes.

Earlier on Saturday, at least 35 Taliban militants were killed and 33 others injured in Afghan Army offensives in Faryab and Baghlan provinces, confirmed the Defence Ministry.

In Faryab, 26 militants were killed and 33 wounded after the Afghan Air Force conducted airstrikes on a Taliban position in Sarchakan village of Gurziwan district, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

In Baghlan, nine Taliban militants died after the Afghan National Army launched a special operation in Dand-e-Shahabuddin locality.

The victims included six Taliban divisional commanders, the statement said.

A handful of weapons, ammunition and several vehicles were also destroyed during the offensives, the Ministry added.

The militant group is yet to make comments on the development.

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