Nearly 30 militants killed in Nuristan
JALALABAD (PAN): In a major anti-terror operation, Afghan security forces killed nearly 30 militants and wounded as many in the eastern province of Nuristan, officials said on Saturday.
Governor Tamim Nuristani said at least 29 militants, including a Taliban commander, Abdul Matin, were killed and 30 others wounded during a three-day operation in Perostan, Penuz, Deh Bala and Deh Payen villages of Kamdesh district.
At least 50 fighters were killed or wounded in the offensive in the troubled town, spokesman for the second ground brigade of the 201st Selab military corps, Maj. Sherin Aqa, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
A notorious rebel commander, Maulvi Tahir, was among the dead and 80 percent of the district was cleared of Taliban, he said, adding they planned to extend the operation to other districts.
One policeman was killed and three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were injured in the offensive, while a woman was killed by a missile fired by militants in Penuz village.
The governor rejected reports about the migration of 300 families from the district, saying that 50 households, whose sons were fighting against government forces, had shifted to other areas.
Meanwhile, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Gen. John R. Allen commended the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) for successfully eliminating the militants in Nuristan.
More than 32 fighters were killed and numerous equipment and fighting positions destroyed during the Afghan Commando-led operation, a statement from ISAF said.
“This was yet another example of the successful transition we have been seeing throughout the past year, as the ANSF are planning, leading and executing very productive combat operations against the insurgency,” Allen said in the statement.
“We expect to see more of these types of successful ANSF-led operations as we progress further into the spring and summer,” Allen added.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the death of only eight fighters and injuries to four others in the Kamdesh fighting. He claimed more than 30 Afghan soldiers were killed or wounded.
Kamdesh had been under the insurgents' control for the past four years and government forces had to airlift logistics to the district centre, using helicopters.
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