5 militants killed in blast in southern Afghanistan

QALAT, Afghanistan, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — About five Taliban militants have been killed in a premature blast in restive southern province of Zabul, local police said on Sunday.

“The killed militants were trying to plant an improvised explosive device (IED) along a road on outskirts of provincial capital Qalat city late on Saturday. But the IED detonated prematurely, killing the five on the spot,” Mohammad Mustafa Mayar, provincial police chief, told Xinhua.

Taliban militants and Islamic State fighters have been using IEDs to make roadside bombs and landmines for targeting security forces, but the lethal home-made weapons also inflict casualties on civilians and the militants as well.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been on the rampage since the beginning of 2015 when the Afghan security forces assumed full responsibilities of security from the United States and NATO troops.

The militants also intensified attacks against security forces and staged several coordinated large-scale attacks against Afghan cities and districts after they launched a yearly rebel offensive in April this year.

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