260 rebels suffer casualties in Nangarhar offensive
KABUL (Pajhwok): Security officials said on Sunday nearly 260 armed militants suffered casualties during an ongoing operation “Iron Triangular” in eastern Nangarhar province.
Launched weeks ago, the operation involved personnel from the Afghan National Army, national police, public order police and intelligence officials, they added.
They claimed the offensive focused on Khogyani, Sherzad and Hesarak districts was successfully underway.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Zaman Waziri, the 201 Selab Military Corps commander, and Nangarhar police chief Brig. Gen. Fazl Ahmad Sherzad shared latest information with media persons about the ongoing operation.
Gen. Waziri said the Afghan forces were well-equipped and had the ability to defeat the enemies of the country and the people under any circumstances.
He said so far 148 militants had been killed and another 110 wounded during the joint operation. As many as 64 suspected militants had been arrested and 28 of them handed over to intelligence officials for investigation and the rest freed, he added.
A large quantity of weapons, explosives, ammunition and three motorcycles have been confiscated. Gen. Waziri said the dead militants included three prominent commanders, the shadow deputy chief for Khogyani district, three landmine-making experts and a Pakistani doctor.
Police chief Sherzad said the operation was a success and there had been complete coordination among the security forces.
He said seven security posts had been established in the Hesarak district to further improve the security situation there.
Sherzad said they had consulted tribal elders, religious scholars and local civil and military officials in the three districts before launching the operation and during the operation. The consultations had produced good results, he said.
However, the two officials said nothing about casualties among civilians and security forces.
But Nangarhar provincial council secretary Ajmal Omar said it was not a large scale operation which had no significant achievement. He accused security officials of exaggerating the gains.
He acknowledged local elders and people had been consulted ahead of the launch of the operation, but disputed the gains.
The public representative said civilians had also suffered casualties during the operation. Five members of a family were killed and eight others wounded when mortar shells hit their house in Tutu area of Sherzad district. However, he said it remained unknown who fired the mortar shells.
A tribal elder in Khogyani district, Malak Nawab, said security forces had just gone through the Khogyani district and were actually conducting the operation in Sherzad and Hesarak districts.
He said some brief clashes had taken place in the district but there was no major clash.
The Taliban have so far said nothing about casualties the fighters suffered during the operation, but they had claimed inflicting casualties on security forces in the same districts during the past three weeks.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.