Afghan forces have killed more than 50 Taliban militants and recaptured a key district in Ghor province in central Afghanistan. Local officials said Taywara district had fallen to the jihadist group about five days ago.

Military spokesman Abdul Basir Ghori said their forces inflicted heavy casualties on the militants, killing nearly 59 and injuring several others. Casualties on the military side were still unknown, he added.

Ghori said the jihadists were defeated with the help of the air force and ground forces.

"After several hours of heavy gunfight, Afghan security forces managed to take control of Taywara district centre in Ghor province on Friday (28 July) morning," the spokesman for the Ghor provincial governor, Abdulhai Khatibi, said. He added that the operation had started early on Thursday morning.

Ghori said a search and clearing operation was underway in the district following the end of the gunfight. They were also assessing if there are any civilian casualties.

"Taliban insurgents have burned all the buildings of government institutions, including a health clinic, during the past four days when they were controlling the district centre," Ghori was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.

Afghan Army troops have killed nearly 59 Taliban insurgents and recaptured Taywara district in Ghor province on Friday, 28 July - File photo REUTERS/Bob Strong

Ghor province shares its borders with two Afghan provinces - Farah in the northwest and Helmand in the south - which are known as Taliban strongholds.

The militant group has increased its attacks on government forces in the recent past as part of their spring offensive. Earlier in the week, the militants killed at least 26 Afghan soldiers and wounded 13 others in an attack on an army base in southern Kandahar province.

The Islamist militant group had vowed to kill troops in the country who have launched a major offensive against them in collaboration with the US-led coalition. The coalition provides training and support to the Afghan military in defeating the terrorist forces.