Kunar assault: Operation Oqab to resume
KABUL (Pajhwok): Following a deadliest attack on Afghan troops in eastern Kunar province, defence and interior ministries on Monday said the Operation Oqab would be launched across the country soon.
Spokespersons of the two ministries told a press conference in Kabul that the attack on Afghan National Army (ANA) troops in the Ghaziabad district had been planned outside the country and that the Afghan forces would retaliate with a befitting response.
Defence Ministry spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi said intelligence information showed hundreds of Pakistani, Chechen and Arab fighters assisted the Afghan Taliban during the attack that left 21 troops killed and eight others missing. The attackers were laced with heavy weapons, he said.
Earlier, the governor of Kunar said the operation to recover the missing soldiers has been intensified.
The fallen troops were paid tribute at a memorial ceremony held in their honour at the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital before the coffins were released to families.
Ministry of Defence officials and families of the slain soldiers were present at the ceremony that saw an honour guard stood at attention behind the long line of coffins draped in the Afghan flag and topped with bouquets of flowers.
Azimi criticized Kunar governor and his spokesman for releasing details of the incident without consulting the ministry concerned.
The latest round of Operation Oqab has been planned in coordination with all security organs to subdue activities of local terrorists and their foreign allies, he said.
He said security forces had clear achievements against militants during the previously conducted Operation Oqab in summer last.
He said Afghan troops died but did not opt to retreat that showed how much committed Afghan forces were to the country’s defence.
He said Afghan security forces were daily sacrificing their lives for the sake of security and peace in the country and in the region.
Siddique also said Afghan forces cleared in the Hesarak district of eastern Nangarhar province from militants three days ago and killed 13 rebel fighters.
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