"The army troopers started an operation in Pusht Rod District against suspected militants late Sunday night," the source told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

"The raid continued till wee hours of Monday. Up to 27 Taliban militants, including seven local insurgent leaders, were killed following the exchange of fire," the source added.

The raid also led to seven arrests, he said, adding that a key Taliban commander named Abdul Rahman Nika was among the dead.  Several militant hideouts were destroyed in the operation in the northern part of provincial capital city Farah, 695 km west of Kabul, he noted.

The Taliban are yet to comment on the incident.  Earlier Monday, militants shot dead the wife of an Independent Election Commission (IEC) employee near the provincial capital Farah city, provincial government spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhwandoy told Xinhua.


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