Over 40 militants killed in Afghanistan

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Over 40 militants have been killed in an on-going clash in Bargi Matal district of Nuristan province, with Parun as its capital, 180 km east of Kabul, provincial governor Tamim Nuristan said on Tuesday.

"A total of 43 militants have been killed in a clash that broke out since Saturday and is still going on in surrounding areas of Bargi Matal district," governor of Nuristan Tamim Nuristani told Xinhua.

He said an Afghan army soldier was also killed and three policemen were injured in the fighting that occurred in remote Bargi Matal district bordering Pakistan.

Meantime, a purported spokesman of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid in talks with local media via cell phone from an undisclosed location confirmed the incident, saying some of Taliban fighters have been killed in the fighting in the district and claimed that the Taliban also killed nine Afghan policemen in the attacks to gain the control of Bargi Matal district.

In another development, unknown armed men shot and killed a tribal elder in eastern Logar province on Monday night, provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewani confirmed on Tuesday.

"Two armed men assassinated Shah Wali, a tribal elder, in Mohammad Agha district late on Monday when Wali was on his way home," Lewani told Xinhua, adding the police has initiated an investigation to find the culprits behind the assassination.

At least six government officials and tribal elders have been killed by insurgents since September.

The insurgent group has stepped up their attacks on Afghan and NATO-led troops since a spring rebel offensive was launched in May this year in the war-ravaged country.

The Taliban also warned people against supporting government and foreign troops.

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