Seven militants were killed in Afghanistan within the last 24 hours, the authorities said Thursday. "During joint military operations carried out by the Afghan National Security Forces, four Taliban insurgent members were killed and seven others arrested over the last 24 hours," the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement. In addition, a Taliban local leader named Qari Abdul Latif along with two other militants were killed after the special operation police force launched an operation and battled militants in Jurm district of northern Badakhshan province overnight, the provincial government spokesman Nawid Froutan told Xinhua, adding that one policeman were also killed in the engagement. The army and police have stepped up efforts to clear the militants across Afghanistan as the country is preparing for the presidential and provincial council elections slated for April 5. However, the militants responded by bombings and attacks. On Wednesday, one civilian was killed and seven others were wounded when a car bomb went off in the country's eastern province of Khost.