13 Taliban perish in airstrike, gunbattle
Eleven fighters were killed by helicopter-borne troops on Thursday night when they tried to attack security checkpoints in the Khushk area of Greshk district.
Deputy coordination head Mohammad Ismail Hotak said security personnel had been sent to the area to bring the militants’ bodies to the Helmand police headquarters.
Separately, militants attacked security checkpoints in Kajaki and Nawzad districts of the province. He said security officials suffered no casualties. “Militants are now too weak to fight.”
But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said they had launched their spring offensive codenamed Al-Farouq in Nawzad, Kajaki and Greshk districts.
Those killed in the airstrike in Greshk were civilians working in poppy field, he said, denying insurgent casualties in the incident.
Elsewhere, one policeman and two fighters were killed during a clash triggered by a rebel assault on a checkpoint in the Pul-i-Jugi area on the outskirts of Mehtarlam, the capital of eastern Laghman province.
Provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Rahman Sarjang said one policeman and a fighter were wounded.
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