300 casualties inflicted on rebels in Musa Qala: Governor
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Nearly 300 Taliban militants have suffered casualties during the operation for retaking control of the Musa Qala district of southern Helmand province, an official claimed on Sunday.
The district was overrun by the insurgents last Wednesday after it was besieged for several days, raising queries about the security of a town that dozens of foreign troops, particularly UK soldiers, had died defending.
However, Afghan forces recaptured the town on Saturday night. Helmand Governor Mirza Khan Rahimi told reporters in Lashkargah that nearly 300 militants had been killed and wounded.
“Red Cross has said it has sent 220 coffins for the rebels killed in Musa Qala,” Rahimi said, adding the humanitarian workers had asked him for help in transferring the bodies of rebels to different provinces.
He said that his office would cooperate with the Red Cross in shifting the bodies to their families. Afghan special forces conducted the overnight offensive in the district centre without support from foreign troops.
He acknowledged 33 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers had also suffered casualties during clashes with the insurgents over the last four days. Officials had previously said 25 security personnel were killed and 40 others wounded in the battle for the district.
The governor said the offensive was still underway to clear all areas of the district of militants. “From now on, we should conduct offensive operations, not defensive, to clear other areas of Helmand soon.”
The 215th Maiwand Military Corps spokesman, Lt. Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazai, said earlier in the day 37 militants had been killed and 93 others wounded during airstrikes in the district last night.
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