Afghan forces launch counterinsurgency offensive in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Three militants have been killed and six others wounded during an ongoing security operation in the Albarz mountains of northern Balkh province, officials said on Friday.
Lt. Col. Azar Mohammad, a senior Shaheen Military Corps official, told reporters Afghan National Army (ANA), police and National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel were conducting the offensive.
The security forces had captured some arms and ammunition, he said, adding more than 250 militants from Balkh, Sar-i-Pul and Jawzjan provinces were operating in the mountainous area.
But the acting police chief for Balkh, Col. Abdur Razzaq Qadiri, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they had encountered a small number of rebels so far. The offensive would continue until the area was cleared, he said.
Chaftang area has already been purged of fighters, according to the police officer, who said the security forces had entered Chalikhel, Qolakhel and Narikhel villages.
The militants were unable to put up strong resistance, he claimed, saying locals were extending full support to their security forces by helping in identification of the insurgents.
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