Rebels besieged in Sangin: Police chief
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Security forces have besieged a number of insurgents in the Sangin district of southern Helmand province, a senior official claimed on Friday.
Government officials say the Taliban, backed by foreign militants, recently launched daring attacks in the restive district. Clashes are still ongoing in the area.
Helmand police chief, Col. Abdul Nabi Ilham, told reporters the rebels were fleeing the district but some of them had been surrounded in Sarwan Kala area.
The fighters had asked security personnel through local elders for a safe passage, but the forces were trying to capture them alive, the police chief said.
Haji Shamsullah, a tribal elder from the area, confirmed the siege. However, he had no idea of the number of the Taliban hemmed in. He called Sarwan Kala a strategically important neighbourhood.
Col. Ilham said the security situation in the district had returned to normal and the Sangin-Kajaki road had been reopened. Search operations in Sangin are still in progress.
Syed Malook, commander of the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, described the ongoing offensive in Sangin as a success. More than 70 militants had been killed and dozens wounded so far, he said.
But Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, claimed the insurgents had killed a large number of security personnel in Sangin. However, he did not comment on the fighters encircled in Sarwan Kala.
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