NANGARHAR - At least eight Taliban insurgents were killed in an airstrike conducted by the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, the local security officials said Monday.

The militants were targeted in the vicinity of Chaparhar district, home to several Taliban and ISIS militants. A clash was also broke out between the Taliban insurgents and ISIS militants in Chaparhar district yesterday which left more than 30 militants dead or wounded from the both sides.

At least two civilians including a child were also killed and five others including children were wounded during the clash.

In the meantime, the security officials in Nangarhar are saying that four ISIS militants including a senior leader of the group were killed during the operations of the Afghan forces in Pekha area of Achin district on Sunday. The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

Both the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in this province. The increased raids, usually involving drone strikes, by the US forces followed a broader role granted by the Obama administration earlier last year.

Order to release 70 prisoners

of Hezb-e-Islami

President Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree for the release of the first batch of Hezb-e-Islam prisoners. The first batch of the prisoners to be released from the jails will include over 70 inmates.

The officials in ARG Palace said last month that the release of Hezb-e-Islami prisoners will kick off as the per the peace agreement and with the return of the party’s leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

President Ghani also chaired the National Security Council meeting late in February and instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate steps in implementation of the peace deal with Hezb-e-Islami.

The peace agreement between Hezb-e-Islami and the Afghan government was signed in September last year, months after negotiations between the Afghan High Peace Council and the Hezb-e-Islami delegation. The release of the prisoners of Hezb-e-Islami from the jails was one of the main conditions of the peace agreement between the two sides. The conclusion of peace agreement resulted into the exclusion of Hekmatyar’s name from the United Nations Security Council sanctions list and his return to Afghanistan.