156 rebels killed in southeast, ANA claims
GARDEZ (PAN): At least 156 insurgents have been killed and 75 others injured during an ongoing offensive in southeastern Paktia province, said a military official said.
Led by the Afghan National Army (ANA) and featuring police and intelligence personnel, the operation was launched a month in southeastern parts of the country.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali told a meeting in Gardez the operation aimed at curbing militant activities during the consultative Loya Jirga and protecting highways.
Heavy casualties had been inflicted on insurgents, he said, claiming that a huge quantity arms had also been seized in various engagements.
He said security forces had been unharmed during the offensive and the military drive to purge the area of anti-state elements was still ongoing.
The operations would help ensure security for presidential and provincial council elections, he said, adding the fighters were unable to sabotage the electoral process.
During the offensive, as many as 1,000 check-points were established on highways and roads to prevent the movement of explosive materials, he added.
Earlier, anti-Taliban operations were launched but could not bring any positive changes to security and order.
However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, rejected Yaftali claim and said the government was only spreading propaganda against the rebel movement.
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