More than two dozen insurgents were killed in Afghanistan as security forces hunted for hundreds of militants who escaped from a prison after a brazen Taliban attack, police said on Sunday.
Afghan and international troops have been searching for more than 1,100 escapees who fled after the militant group blasted open the jail in the southern city of Kandahar late on Friday, killing several prison guards.
The prison raid was a blow to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, coming one day after world donors pledged US$ 20 billion to rebuild Afghanistan at a conference in Paris but also called on him to strengthen the rule of law.
More than 15 militants were killed late yesterday at a farm compound in restive Kandahar province during the search for the escapees, the US-led coalition said in a statement.
"The combined forces used precision air strikes to destroy the compound after insurgents attacked with small-arms fire," it said.
Five people were also captured at the compound but it was not immediately known if they or the dead insurgents were also escaped prisoners, the force said.
The military seized a large cache of munitions and improvised explosive device (IED) components during the search, it said.
A dozen more Taliban were killed in a separate operation by Afghan security forces in the restive Zharai district, also late yesterday, Kandahar provincial police chief Sayed Agha Saqeb told AFP.
"Last night we had an operation in Zharai district. Twelve Taliban including a famous commander, Kaka Abdul Khaliq, were killed," Saqeb said.