KUNDUZ   -   As many as 40 Taliban militants, including their local commander, were killed and 25 others wounded, following the recent 24-hour conflicts in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province, an official said Saturday.

“Taliban launched offensives in Dasht-e-Archi and Qala-e-Zal districts of Kunduz province, where they faced strong counterattacks from security forces, and fled the scene, after leaving 40 fighters, including Mullah Abdullah, one of their local commander, dead and 25 others wounded,” Abdul Baqi Nuristani, the provincial police chief told a media gathering in the province.

Nuristani confirmed the death of seven policemen in the skirmishes and said a wide counter-insurgents operation will soon be launched in Dasht-e-Archi district and other turbulent areas of the province.

The Taliban, by releasing a statement to media, claimed that their fighters have killed tens of troops during their raids on the government forces security posts in the war-affected province. Kunduz provincial officials have earlier confirmed that militants affiliated with the Taliban group, finally succeeded to take control of 20 strategic villages in Dasht-e-Barchi district of the province.

Fence to bring huge change to ties: pakistan

Constructing a permanent fence on the Chaman-Spin Boldak border will bring major change to bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Muhemmed Aejaz, the additional secretary for Afghanistan and West Asia at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Sputnik.

“We believe that once we do it will practically bring a major change in the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral relationship because once we have completed this project the movement of people and economic and trade goals, and all other things, will be very regulated which is the need. They will hopefully go through the designated crossing points,” Aejaz said. Work to build the fence is ongoing and the installation is expected to be completed by early 2020, according to Aejaz.

“I don’t have the exact timeframe for that because there are operational difficulties, it is, frankly speaking, very difficult terrain, mountain ranges, and all that, but our military is very determined to complete it as soon as possible.

At least we hope that by the end of next year or maybe early 2020 we should be able to achieve it,” he said.

According to the official, the porous border has been one of the issues dampening the Afghan-Pakistani relations and the permanent fence should solve the problem of unhindered movement of members of terrorist groups.