FARAH: Afghan security forces have killed 15 Taliban militants including key commander Mawlawi Ibrahim Shiwani during operations in the western Farah province on Sunday, a senior army officer in the western region General Taj Mohammad Jahid said.

"Units of Afghan army launched cleanup operations against Taliban militants in Balablock district early Sunday and have killed 15 rebels including their key commander Mawlawi Ibrahim Shiwani who also served as shadowy deputy governor for Farah province," Jahid said, Xinhua reported.

"Mawlawi Shiwani was killed Sunday afternoon," the official added.

"The murder of Mawlawi Shiwani could be a major setback to the Taliban militants in Farah and adjoining provinces," he said.

Taliban militants who have intensified activities over the past couple of months have yet to make comment.