New offensive launched in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (PAN): A new clearing operation, involving Afghan and international forces, was launched near the Pakistani border in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Thursday, officials said.
As part of the offensive, the border police personnel were deputed on mountain tops in four districts --Hesarak, Sherzad, Khogyani and Pachir Agam -- four days ago, border police commander, Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
So far no clashes between security forces and militants had taken place, he said, adding the operation also involved troops from the 201 Selab Military Corps, besides Afghan border police and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) servicemembers.
He said the clean-up operation, which would be extended to Chaparhar, Kot, Nazyan, Achin, Haska Mena, Dur Baba, Momand Dara, Goshta, Kama and Lalpura districts, was launched in compliance with a request from area people.
This time, the general promised, they would not abandon areas after their capture from the insurgents. A 650-member battalion had been trained to maintain security in areas cleared of fighters, he said.
Four Kalashnikov assault rifles and as many pistols have been recovered during the operation in Perakhel, Wazir and Mimli areas of Khogyani district, Amarkhel said. In the still of the night, militants fled after planting roadside bombs. Efforts are being made to clear the landmines.
Punjabi and Waziristani Taliban have been active in the four districts, where students would return to school on completion of the operation, Amarkhel continued.
Afghan National Army commander Lt. Col. Mohammad Hussain Baloch said the operation would continue until peace was completely restored.
A NATO-led commander said they had come to the region after the enemy killed several of their colleagues in roadside bombings.
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