Lashkar Gah: About 47 Taliban militants were killed, after Afghan army helicopters struck their positions in outskirts of Lashkar Gah, capital of southern Helmand province, according to army sources.

"The army gunships pounded Taliban hideouts in Loya Hadera, Khodyrahim and Charbagh localities in Baba Jee area outside of Lashkar Gah last night, killing 47 armed insurgents," Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Rassoul Zazai, spokesman of army Corp 215 Maiwand said.

Sporadic clashes have been continuing in Baba Jee over the past one week, as the militants launched massive attacks to take control of outer sides of Lashkar Gah, some 555 km south of Afghan capital, and put pressure on security forces.

Five local Taliban commanders were among the killed, Zazai said, adding that "the air attacks were part of an ongoing raid in the area and the operation will continue before the area is cleared of enemies."

Following the airstrikes, Afghan army commandos were dispatched to the area on early Saturday morning to clear the Taliban-held villages from militants, he said. Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also a known Taliban stronghold. The Taliban militant group has yet to make comments.