16 militants killed in Zabul search operation
QALAT (Pajhwok): A search operation has been launched across southern Zabul province and so far 16 insurgents have been killed, a military official said on Saturday.
Gen. Abdul Hameed Hameed, the 205th military corps commander, told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation was launched on Thursday focused on Qalat, the provincial capital, and all districts.
He said so far 14 militants had been killed in Shajoy district, 11 injured and three captured alive. Security forces had seized 19 motorcycles from the rebels, he added.
Another two insurgents were killed during an airstrike in the Atghar district and another airstrike in the Mezan district destroyed a weapon depot.
Gen. Hameed said they were trying to bring under government control the Khak-i-Afghan district, where insurgents had been in control over the past eight years.
The commander said efforts would be made during the ongoing offensive to find out the whereabouts of the 31 kidnapped passengers.
The provincial council chief, Haji Atta Jan, dubbed the offensive as successful and urged security forces to prevent civilian casualties and damages to homes and orchards during the operation.
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