Kabul [Afghanistan], July 22 (ANI): At least five Taliban terrorists have been killed in airstrikes carried out in several provinces in Afghanistan over the past three days, according to a local journalist who claims to have sourced the information from multiple Afghan officials.
In a series of tweets, Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary claimed that the airstrikes targeting Taliban were conducted by American troops.
"US airstrikes were carried out in the last 52 hours across many provinces in Afghanistan. In Helmand's Garmsir district a Taliban vehicle was targeted and destroyed," Sarwary tweeted.
This comes amid escalating of violence between the Afghan defence force and Taliban offensive as US and NATO troops are pulling out of the country.
One US airstrike was carried out in Kandahar city killing at least 5 Taliban, tweeted Sarwary citing multiple counter-terrorism officers and police.
Meanwhile, Sarwary also said that in Sayad Abad district Wardak province, Taliban artillery was destroyed in a US airstrike. Apart from this in Shah Wali Kot district, two US airstrikes targeted 10 armoured Humvees belonging to the Taliban, the journalist tweeted.
On Wednesday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the focus of US military efforts in Afghanistan will be countering terrorist threats, not the Taliban, following the withdrawal.
Austin said the US will "keep an eye on" Al-Qaeda, the extremist network whose use of Afghanistan as a haven for planning the 9/11 attacks on the United States was the reason US forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
In the past few weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.
The Taliban now control about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan, and while they have yet to capture any of the country's 34 provincial capitals, said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
As the Taliban seize more territory, the Afghan security forces are consolidating their positions to protect key population centres, including Kabul, he said. (ANI)