Afghan security forces have killed a total of 128 members of the Taliban movement and wounded 40 more in the north, northeast and east of the country, the Afghan Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry and the National Directorate of Security said on Sunday.

“Last night [April 13], Afghan National and Security Forces with the support of Afghan Air Forces defeated the enemy in Char Dara, Khan Abad and Capital of [northern] Kunduz province. As a result: 40 Taliban terrorists were killed, 12 were injured and 13 hideouts and enemy positions were destroyed,” the bodies said in a joint press release, published by the Defense Ministry on Twitter.

A total of 35 Taliban militants were killed as part of three separate raids across the central-eastern Ghazni province.

“As a result: Gelan district: 30 terrorists… were killed… Taweed Abad: Afghan Security Forces killed 5 Taliban terrorists and wounded 6 others,” the joint press release added.

Another 25 militants were killed by the security forces and 12 more suffered wounds in the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan, the Defense Ministry said in a separate press release.

“Yesterday [April 13], around 7pm [14:30 GMT] a group of Taliban attacked Afghan National Defense and Security Forces checkpoints in Jurm district of Badakhshan province… In this conflict 25 Taliban terrorists including 4 foreign citizens were killed, 12 were injured,” the press release said.

Twenty-eight Taliban fighters were eliminated by the security forces and 10 more were wounded in clearance operations in the eastern Nangarhar province, the Defense Ministry added.

Earlier in the day,  a local security official said, as cited by Khaama Press that the Afghan security forces killed nine members of the Taliban movement in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar late on Friday after the militants tried to overrun a security checkpoint. The Khaama Press News Agency cited the official as saying that the clash erupted at the Takhtapul district.

“There was a clash between the #Taliban and #ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] at the #Takhtapul district CP [checkpoint] in #Kandahar which caused the death of 9 insurgents. The Taliban claim it was overrun, but that is not true,” the official tweeted as quoted by the Khaama Press News Agency.

The security official added that the Afghan forces maintained control over the checkpoint but one police officer had died during the clashes.

The armed confrontation between Kabul and the Taliban has been dragging on for years, with the insurgents perpetrating regular attacks across the country, and the government conducting anti-terrorist raids with support from the United States.

Most recently, the Taliban announced the launch of their annual spring offensive, warning that the fighting will continue as long as foreign forces remained in Afghanistan.

This comes as the US and the Taliban concluded 16 days of talks in the Qatari capital Doha last month. The negotiations resulted in a draft agreement on a troop pull-out timeline and counterterrorism guarantees.

Nevertheless, the group has so far refused to engage directly with the Afghan government or commit to a ceasefire.

Peace talks with the Taliban kicked off last year, as US President Donald Trump vowed to reduce the number of US troops in Afghanistan.

Trump has previously been on record expressing his wish to end the war that hit the Central Asian nation in 2001 and transformed into one of the most prolonged conflicts in US history.

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