Key figure among 16 rebels killed
KABUL (PAN): Sixteen insurgents, including a senior Taliban suicide attacks facilitator, were killed during separate security operations in northern Balkh and southern Kandahar provinces, officials said on Sunday.
A dozen rebels were killed during a military operation on in Chamtal district of Balkh, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement. Security forces seized eight motorcycles during the operation conducted in the Albarz area.
The dead included two rebel commanders, said 303rd Pamir Zone Police spokesman, Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, said.
Tribal elder Haji Saido said foreign troops were also part of the offensive as they provided air support to the Afghan forces.
In Kandahar, Hafiz Hikmatullah, allegedly tasked with sending militants to join police ranks by the Taliban leadership in Quetta, was killed along with two accomplices during an operation in the Maroof district, the governor's house said.
Hikmatullah, who had been under strict observation of Afghan intelligence agents, was killed on Saturday night soon after he crossed the border from Pakistan into the southern province, the statement added.
The statement said the slain rebel leader was mastermind of several suicide attacks, including one on former police chief, Lt. Gen. Khan Mohammad Mujahid.
He also planned suicide attacks against the current Kandahar police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) department.
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