Khanabad cleared, 21 rebels eliminated
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Security forces cleared of militants all villages in the Khanabad district of northwestern Kunduz province over the past 24 hours, killing 21 militants, police said on Thursday.
Rebel hideouts were destroyed during the offensive involving Afghan security forces and members of an anti-Taliban militia, police chief Maj. Gen. Ghulam Mustafa Mohseni told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said five villages in Chahardara district were also cleared of militants and bodies of the 21 rebels remained on the battlefield in Khanabad.
A day earlier, security officials said seven militants had been killed members of a public uprising group backed by Afghan security forces in Khanabad.
Nearly a dozen villages had been cleared in Aqtash area of Khanabad district by the uprising group and security forces, Mohseni said. Security forces and civilians suffered no casualties.
The Taliban have so far said nothing about the operation.
Residents displaced by the violence urged security forces to maintain security in areas purged from rebels.
Lal Mohammad, a resident of Aqtash village, said his and dozens of other families who escaped violence had turned to their homes.
He added about 800 people had been displaced to the Khanabad’s centre and Kunduz City as result of the violence spanning three weeks.
Mohammad asked security officials to take effective measures at ensuring security of locals.
Local security officials said the number of security posts would be increased in cleared areas to prevent the Taliban from staging a comeback.
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