35 rebels killed in Faryab offensive
MAIMANA (PAN): Thirty-five insurgents were killed and several areas cleared during an ongoing security operation by Afghan forces, with NATO providing air support, in northwestern Faryab province, an official said on Wednesday.
Launched three weeks ago, the offensive was ongoing in Pashtun Kot district, provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Nabi Jan Mullakhel told Pajhwok Afghan News. Several militants, including notorious commander Nasirak, were injured.
Mullakhel accused Nasirak of killing a public prosecutor, Arsal, his wife and four bodyguards in Pashtunkot district. The rebel leader was able to escape in injured condition.
The police chief claimed a bomb-making factory was also discovered and 40 types of bombs neutralised during the operation.
Meanwhile, provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) department in a statement said a NATO airstrike during the operation in Pashtun Kot killed seven insurgents and wounded 16 others.
It added 10 villages, including Yak Aab, Katalabi and Qala Khan, were cleared of insurgents as a result of the operation.
Resident Mohammad Tahir said the Taliban had been a major threat to the district’s security situation which he said had improved because of the operation. He suggested the government should provide weapons to residents in order to keep the rebels from staging a comeback.
Mullakhel said 10 security posts were being established in areas cleared of insurgents.
He also said a 30-member Taliban group had recently the joined peace process and the group had been assigned with keeping security in the area.
The group turned in 30 weapons, including rocket launchers and machineguns, to police, the police chief said.
The group leader, Sirajuddin, said the government had no writ in their area, therefore they had no option but to join the Taliban. Since the government’s writ has been established, they wanted to assist the government in initiating reconstruction projects, he added.
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