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20 Baghlan villages cleared of Taliban

20 Baghlan villages cleared of Taliban

Feb 23, 2011 - 17:26

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PANinfo-icon): Afghan forces killed and wounded a number of Talibaninfo-icon insurgents and cleared 20 villages in northern Baghlan province, officials said on Wednesday.

One suicide bomber was among the dead while two others were captured during the ongoing operation in Baghlan-i-Markazi district, the 203rd Pamir Zone police commander told reporters.

The operation was launched four days ago by Afghan forces in Baghlan-i-Markazi district and 20 villages were cleared of the insurgents, Gen. Muhammad Daud Daud said.

He said 20 fighters were killed and injured while 20 others, led by Commander Khalo, joined the peace process in the district, Daud said.

 Thirty Al Qaeda rebels were also operating in the province, he said. "All roads have been blocked and they will be arrested soon."

A commander of US-led troops, Col. Willards Burleson, described the offensive successful. "We are also taking part in the Afghan-led operation to improve people's living standards with the implementation of reconstructioninfo-icon projects."

Sixty reconstruction schemes, 25 road, 35 agricultural and three school projects were completed in northern provinces during the last one year," Burleson added.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the fighters had killed 30 Afghan security official in one clash and 17 in another. But local officials rejected the claim as baseless.


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