Hundreds of militants pushed back in Helmand
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Security forces pushed back hundreds of militants after they launched coordinated attacks on their posts in Khanshin and Garamsir districts of southern Helmand province, the governor said on Saturday.
A large number of militants were killed and wounded a day earlier during the clashes that involved up to 300 fighters, Mohammad Naeem told a press conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital.
Flanked by the 215th Maiwand Military Corps commander and the acting police chief, the governor said that security forces offered stiff resistance and inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers.
He said as many as 70 dead bodies of the attackers remained at the clash sites and several others insurgents had been surrounded by security forces.
The governor said the insurgents wanted to avenge their defeat in Sangin and they had carried out similar attacks in Marja, Nawzad and Musa Qala districts.
Afghan security forces remained unharmed, the governor said, adding they held a security meeting today and discussed how to prevent casualties among civilians in Sangin and strengthen security there.
Naeem said the conflict in Helmand was different from those in other provinces because drug smugglers assisted insurgents in the southern province.
He claimed insurgents and mafia groups were involved in smuggling of marbles from mines in border districts and earned millions of Pakistani rupees.
Maj. Gen. Syed Malook, the 215th Maiwand Military Corps commander in Helmand, told the press conference that the security forces quickly controlled the attacks on Khanshin and Garamsir districts.
In addition to killing 70 militants, he said, the forces also confiscated a huge quantity of explosives and ammunition.
He said with the implementation of the special plans they had devised for the Sangin battle, insurgents would be completely flushed out from the troubled town.
He blamed the prolonged battle in Sangin on the town’s geographical location that enabled insurgents to easy bring in their logistics.
Acting police chief Gen. Ahmadzai Rahmati said all the operations in Helmand were taken forward in close coordination among security organs.
He said insurgents were planning to carry out attacks in Lashkargah, but police had prevented them from doing so.
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