Civilians among 18 killed in Helmand unrest
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A dozen militants and half a dozen civilians have been killed in separate incidents of violence in southern Helmand province, officials said on Sunday.
The militants were killed during an ongoing operation in Nawzad district to clear roads linking the town with Musa Qala and Lashkargah, the provincial capital, Nawzad district chief Syed Murad Agha told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said the roads had been cleared, but mines planted by militants continued to threaten lives of local residents and security forces.
The still ongoing operation was launched three days back jointly by Afghan National Army (ANA) and Public Order Police personnel.
Murad Agha said so far one ANA soldier had been injured in the operation. He accused the Taliban of killing two civilians on charge of having connections with the government in Inzar Shali area on Sunday.
He said the civilians were travelling in car when the armed insurgents intercepted the car and dragged them out and shot them dead.
Provincial police spokesman Col Abdul Ahad Chopan said the militants killed in Nawzad included two senior commanders --- Mullah Abdur Rahman and Toor Jan.
A resident of Regi area of Nawzad, Sakhi Dad, claimed ANA soldiers also killed a 10-year-old boy during the operation. The child was killed when he was busy playing in front of his house, he said.
But Murad Agha and the 215th Maiwand Military Corps deputy commander, Gen Ghulam Farooq Parwan showed their unawareness about the child’s death in the operation.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahamdi claimed the fighters blew up two military tanks, killing all inside.
Also in Nawzad, three civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed and four others wounded during a roadside bombing in Jazi area.
Helmand police spokesman Abdul Ahad Chopan confirmed the blast that took place in the noon. He said the victims were returning home from Greshk district when came under attack.
Militants captured the Jazi area three days ago and had planted many roadside bombs in the area, Chopan said.
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