45 rebels killed in Helmand, Taliban refute
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Dozens of militants have been killed during airstrikes in the Sangin and Kajaki districts of southern Helmand province, an official said on Tuesday, a claim the insurgents dismissed.
The ground and air offensive was conducted for two consecutive days in the troubled towns, killing 45 militants, including some key commanders, the governor’s spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Omar Zwak added the offensive had been planned jointly by the army, police and intelligence officials, with ISAF personnel providing air support.
ISAF jets bombed rebels’ positions in Kajaki’s Kandamriz and Deh Baba areas, where the insurgents were planning attacks on Sangin, he said.
Similarly, the operation by Afghan forces was underway in Sangin and its adjacent areas, the official said, adding security forces had so far suffered no casualties.
The offensive would continue until security in Sangin and Kajaki was improved, he said.
A tribal elder in Sangin, Mohammad Hashim Sanginwal, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the operation had a positive impact on the security situation there. He said the operation had spread terror among the rebels.
Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, rejected if the fighters had suffered casualties during the airstrikes in Kajaki, saying 10 traders were killed, 120 shops destroyed and a mosque damaged in the operation.
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