Major search operation begins in Kunduz
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A massive search operation has been launched in northern Kunduz province, where more than 300 security forces and militants suffered casualties during the past week, officials said on Wednesday.
The operation is aimed to regain control of areas captured by militants and secure those vulnerable to the rebels.
Kunduz police spokesman Syed Sarwar Hussaini told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation that began on Wednesday involved thousands of Afghan security forces in Gortipa and Taloka areas near Kunduz City, the provincial capital, and Imam Sahib district.
He said fresh additional security forces had arrived from northern Balkh province and capital Kabul.
Governor Muhammad Omar Safi said so far 140 rebels and 20 Afghan security personnel had been killed and 120 insurgents, 28 troops and five civilians injured.
Of 37 local police personnel kidnapped by Taliban militants in Gortipa area, 10 were released yesterday and seven others rescued with mediation of tribal elders today, he said, adding the remaining hostages would also be rescued.
Safi dubbed the latest operation as extraordinary and very powerful, saying the offensive would be extended to Badakhshan, Faryab and other northern provinces.
But some Kunduz residents complained about increase in insecurity and said Afghan forces acted only in self-defence and were reluctant to eliminate insurgents.
A resident Syed Sharif said insecurity had increased these days in Kunduz as most police posts had been conquered by insurgents, but Afghan forces were yet to react.
Governor Safi confirmed Taloka area had fallen to the Taliban, but it was retaken in today’s joint operation. The governor said all lost areas would be cleared of militants soon.
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