Kandahar: More than 70 armed insurgents have been killed in Afghanistan's southern region over the past 24 hours, as government forces have increased pressure on the Taliban in Kandahar and the neighbouring provinces, Xinhua news agengy reported on Sunday quoting an army statement.

Units of the national army in the latest crackdown on the Taliban have killed three insurgents in Khakriz district of the southern Kandahar province early on Sunday, said a statement of 205 Atal Corps released here.

According to the statement, a Taliban commander Mullah Mahmoud alias Bado Jan was also among those killed in the raids.

Similarly, the statement reported killing 41 insurgents in Miwand, Mianshin and Shah Walikot districts of Kandahar province since Saturday.

Government forces, according to the statement, have also killed 10 Taliban fighters in Daichopan district of the neighbouring Zabul province over the past 24 hours, the army statement said.

A total of 12 militants have also been killed in Khas Uruzgan district of the southern Uruzgan province as security forces targeted Taliban positions from the ground and air over the period, the army statement said.

Without briefing on casualties of security personnel, the army statement also noted that scores of militants had been killed in the southern region since Saturday.

Kandahar and neighbouring Zabul, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces are regarded as the hotbed of the Taliban militants and the militant group has intensified activities across Afghanistan, including in the restive southern region since launching its annual spring offensive on April 12.

Afghan Defence Minister Assadullah Khalid has instructed government forces to spare no efforts in foiling militants' spring offensive and dispelling them from their hideouts in the country, Xinhua reported.

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