110 villages cleared of militants in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Nearly 110 villages were cleared of insurgents during a military operation in northern Balkh province, ahead of the province hand over to local forces as part of the security transition plan, a process beginning in July, an official said on Wednesday.
The joint clean-up operation that concluded a day earlier was aimed at paving the ground for the security transition plan to be a success in Balkh, the 209th Shaheen Military Corps commander in the north, Brig. Gen. Zalmay Wesa, told a press conference in Dehdai district.
Militants were pushed back from areas from where they could threaten the security situation in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, he said.
Mazar-i-Sharif is one cities to be handed over to local forces in July.
Wesa said nearly 110 villages were cleared of insurgents in the Chahar Bolak and Chamtal districts. At least 10 militants were killed and 19 others were detained during the clearing offensive, he said.
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