Operation launched in Helmand to wipe out militants
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): A joint security operation has been launched to wipe out armed insurgents in the Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province, police said on Wednesday.
Helmand police chief Brig. Gen. Nabi Jan Mullakhel said the operation that began on Tuesday involved personnel from the Afghan National Army, national police and intelligence.
Talking to reporters in the town’s Loy Manda area, Mullakhel said yesterday’s clashes left six militants dead and their weapons were confiscated by the forces.
As a result of the operation, the police chief said the government’s writ was established in areas where Taliban had been in control for the last eight years, occupying “hundreds of thousands of acres of land.”
He said the insurgents would allow poppy cultivation on the land and plan and execute their attacks from the areas.
The police chief said operations in other areas of the district would be launched three days later to retake large swaths of land from insurgents and establish security posts there. So far the joint forces have not suffered any casualties.
A security official told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation in Nad Ali was currently being carried out by Helmand-based security forces, but personnel from neighbouring Kandahar and western Herat provinces would be called in over the next few days.
He said after the launch of the operation, many insurgents had fled the area, but some remained planting roadside bombs.
A resident of the Loy Manda area, Syed Gul, said it was for the first time in the past many years that security forces had arrived in the area to conduct operation against militants.
He said though insurgents were yet to put up any resistance, the government forces should be careful in their actions in order to avoid civilian casualties or intimidate them in the name of Taliban.
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