Afghan forces capture Taliban stronghold in Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Security forces captured a Taliban’s stronghold in the Geru district of southern Ghazni province, the acting governor said on Wednesday.
Musa Khan Akbarzada told a press conference here that the Afghan forces struck the village of Jahangir, a key militant base, and captured it during an operation that had recently been launched in the area and was still ongoing.
He said the area was a major centre of the Taliban, who would hold gatherings and plan their attacks and send suicide bombers from there.
Abdul Rashid, a resident of Jahangir area, told Pajhwok Afghan News that security forces entered the area last night and engaged insurgents in a heavy fight. Security forces were seen throughout Wednesday in the area, he said.
“Taliban would hold gatherings here. Dozens would attend and receive instructions. Foreign fighters would also come to the gatherings,” the resident said.
Jahangir area is located in Geru district near the border with Nawa district, where insurgents are in control.
Akbarzada, who addressed the press conference on Wednesday noon, said security forces had launched operations to capture Nawa district, where so far eight security posts had been established.
The governor said if security forces entirely captured the Nawa district, it would help improve the security situation not only in Ghazni but also in neighbouring provinces.
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Jahangir area remained in their control and that no troops had entered Nawa district. He said no security operation had been launched in the Nawa district.
Months ago, Governor Akbarzada had said nearly 200 armed families with links to the self-styled Islamic State or Daesh group had entered Nawa district, 150 kilometres southwest of Ghazni City.
The district borders southern Zabul and southeastern Paktika provinces as well as Pakistan.
Taliban militants have been in control of the town over the past one decade. Security operations had previously been conducted in the district to drive insurgents, but the rebels were able to return and recapture it all the times.
Akbarzada said security operations in Nawa, Gilan and Maqur districts were underway since a week, during which 80 militants were killed, including 17 Pakistanis.
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