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    Security and Crime

    Rebel leaders among 53 held in Nangarhar

    JALALABAD (PAN): Three commanders were among 53 rebels detained during an operation in the Batikot district of eastern Nangarhar province, officials said on Saturday.

    The search operation, which ended on Friday night, was launched by Afghan security forces four days ago, said the governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.

    He told Pajhwok Afghan News some weapons, ammunitions and vehicles were recovered from the rebels. A Taliban commander, Maulvi Abdul Rahman, was among the detainees, he said.

    Batikot district chief, Mirza Mohammad Nasrat, said 23 suspected detainees would be freed after investigations. Many areas of the district were cleared of militants in the operation.

    But a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the arrest of fighters in Batikot. He tended to suggest the detainees were common residents.

    mm/mud



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