Landmines impede advance in Dangam: police
ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Police on Thursday said security forces were slowly advancing to annihilate Taliban militants due to landmines in the Dangam district of eastern Kunar province.
Last month, hundreds of local and Pakistani Taliban launched attacks on Dangam residents spearheading an uprising against them, torching dozens of homes and displacing hundreds of families.
As the clashes between heavily armed insurgents and residents continued for at least 10 days, Afghan security forces launched a ground and air offensive against the attackers.
Kunar police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Habib Syedkhel told Pajhwok Afghan News Afghan security forces had reached strategic hilltops and had established check points there to defend residents.
He said during the month-old operation in Dangam, so far 183 insurgents, including key commanders, had been killed and another 121 injured.
A woman was killed and another resident was injured during clashes with militants, he said, adding the Taliban had torched several civilian houses and forced 500 families to flee.
He also said eight Afghan troops lost their lives to clashes, which left another 15 security personnel wounded and their three vehicles damaged in explosions.
On the other hand, a resident and commander of the uprising group, said they were assisting security forces against rebels for the last 25 days, but they lacked weapons and bullets.
He said before the arrival of security forces, they had seriously suffered at the hands of insurgents. He urged the government to deploy Afghan forces near the Durand Line to protect Dangam residents from being attacked.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had claimed dozens of Afghan troops were killed and wounded in clashes with the fighters.
He had rejected civilian homes were torched, saying the residences set afire belonged to government officials and their supporters.
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