Kabul: A total of 117 militants were killed amid military operations launched by Afghan security forces within the last 24 hours, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. “Afghan security and defense forces conducted several military and cleanup operations over the past 24 hours, killing 117 militants, wounding 50 and detaining two other militants,” the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates. The ground forces were supported by army’s heavy artillery and air force during the raids conducted in 18 of the country’s 34 provinces, the statement added. Some 15 militants of the Islamic State (IS) were among the killed, the statement continued.In one operation, 27 militants were killed and 16 wounded after Afghan army air force struck a Taliban hideout in Gereshk district, Helmand province, according to the statement. “Four military commanders of the militants named Mawlawi Raqib, Qari Ferdous, Mawlawi Jihadullah and Qari Omari were among the killed in Helmand airstrikes,” it noted. The joint forces found and seized weapons besides defusing several roadside bombs and landmines during the above raids. “Joint force also destroyed four vehicles and seven motorcycles used by militants during a raid in western Farah province. They demolished a stronghold belonging to a Taliban leader named Hajji Naim along with weapons and ammunition in northern Kunduz province,” the statement read. Two personnel of the Afghan army were also killed over the same period, it said. The Taliban militants, which ruled the country before they were ousted in late 2001, renewed armed insurgency, staging ambushes and suicide attacks, killing combatants as well as civilians.