5 Afghan soldiers, 17 militants killed within day
KABUL, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- About five Afghan army soldiers and 17 Taliban militants have been killed within the last 24 hours, the country's Defense Ministry said on Sunday morning.
"A total of 17 militants were killed during military operations in four provinces, and five army soldiers lost their lives in direct enemy fire and roadside bomb attacks over the past 24 hours, " the ministry said in a statement.
The Afghan army specialists found and defused 31 roadside bombs and landmines across the country over the same period, according to the statement.
The Taliban insurgent group has yet to make comments.
Afghan security forces took the full operational lead from foreign troops in mid-last year.
The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from NATO-led troops by the end of year.
More than 41,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan. Nearly 29,000 of them are Americans and the United States plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year.