Pakistanis among dozens killed in Paktika airstrike
SHARAN (Pajhwok): Dozens of militants have been killed during an airstrike in southeastern Paktika province, local officials said on Friday, but Taliban claimed the victims were civilians.
The casualties occurred last night when the Afghan National Army (ANA) commandos bombarded an insurgent hideout in the Nikah district of the province, which lies close to the Pakistan border.
Ahmad Javed Saleem, spokesman for the ANA Commando Unit, told Pajhwok Afghan News more than 30 fighters -- mostly Pakistani militants -- were killed in the ground and air offensive.
He said the victims’ bodies were still lying at the scene of the bombing that targetted a rebel sanctuary where the Taliban planned suicide attacks in Khost, Paktia, Ghazni and some other provinces.
The troops also seized a heavy quantity of weapons during the overnight operation, which caused the security personnel and civilians no harm, Saleem said.
On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid acknowledged the loss of only two rebels in the airstrike. He claimed eight civilians were killed in the air raid.
He said the ANA commandos struck a seminary after two of their colleagues were killed in a Taliban attack in Maltana area. Madrassa students and a teacher lost their lives in the bombardment, he alleged.
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