Several Pakistani rebels killed in Shorab fighting
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Eight soldiers and more than 20 militants have been killed in fighting at the Shorab military base in southern Helmand province, an Afghan National Army (ANA) commander said on Tuesday.
Sparked by a group attack on the base, the five-day fighting came to an end with the torching of six ANA vehicles and several portions of the base, 215th Maiwand Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Syed Malook told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He claimed most of the well-armed assailants, all of whom were killed in clashes with security personnel, were Pakistanis. Some of the attackers failed to enter the facility, as four of their associates perished in the initial firefight.
At least 16 attackers, wearing suicide vests, managed to reach different parts of the military centre before being killed in retaliatory fire, he said. Six of the militants blew themselves up during the engagement, which left eight soldiers dead and 15 others wounded.
Although Gen. Malook said six Ranger pick-ups were burnt, this Pajhwok reporter saw the wreckage of at least 10 vehicles at the site. Most of the damaged buildings were residential areas for the soldiers.
Gen. Farooq Parwani, the deputy corps commander, said the attackers were clad in US marine uniforms and bullet-proof helmets. The assailants also had hand grenades, weapons and food items, he added.
In a bid to minimise casualties, he said, the soldiers carefully responded to the brazen assault on the 18,000-acre base, guarded by 1,800 newly-recruited defence ministry personnel.
Governor Mohammad Naeem, meanwhile, praised the soldiers’ valour in beating back the assailants. He hoped the Afghan army would continue to demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and bravery in dealing with such situations.
Qari Yousaf Ahmad claimed the attackers had killed a large number of soldiers during the five-day clashes. He said many military facilities were also destroyed.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.