Afghan Local Police strength being increased in Nangarhar
KABUL/JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Wrapping up Operation Iron Triangular in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, security officials on Sunday said the strength of Afghan Local Police was being increased to prevent insurgents from staging a comeback in areas cleared.
Meanwhile, tribal elders from the Khogyani told a press conference in Kabul that dozens of civilians had been killed and wounded during the offensive that was launched some weeks ago. The Operation Iron Triangular remained focused on Nangarhar’s Khogyani, Sherzad and Hesarak districts.
It was simultaneously launched from Azra district of central Logar province, Sarobi district of Kabul and Khogyani district of Nangarhar. The 201 Selab Military Corps commander and the Nangarhar police headquarters on Sunday announced concluding the month-long operation, which resulted in the killing of 150 militants, wounding of 112 others and the arrest of another 70 suspects.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Zaman Waziri, the 201 Selab Military Corps commander, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the three districts of Nangarhar had been cleared of militants as a result of the offensive.
He said 13 Afghan security personnel were killed and another three wounded during the operation.
But a Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed in a statement issued to media outlets that 92 security personnel had been killed and wounded and their several vehicles destroyed during the operation, a claim rejected by the officials concerned.
Waziri said security forces stationed in the three districts had been supplied logistics enough for six months and that the insurgents could not create insecurity.
Nangarhar police chief Brig. Gen. Fazl Ahmad Sherzad said the number of ALP personnel would be increased in the Khogyani zone in order to prevent possible infiltration of militants.
Sherzad called the Operation Iron Triangular a success because civilians did not suffer casualties during the operation and that all areas in the three districts had been cleared of militants as a result.
To a question about possible return of the Taliban after the end of the operation, the police chief said: “Security on roads need enough security forces and have the plan for it.”
Without providing any figures, he said the number of ALP forces in the Khogyani and the Shinwari zones would be increased several folds as recommended by the interior minister. “We also have a special plan for Daesh and the group will be dealt with an iron hand,” the police chief said.
He also said the Taliban had the plan to carry out attacks in Kabul after establishing their safe havens in the Khogyani zone, but their plan had been thwarted.
Earlier, officials had said 50 new security posts were established during the Operation Iron Triangular in the Khogyani zone in order to maintain security. Though officials had claimed there were no casualties among civilians during the operation, but elders from the Khogyani zone on Sunday told a press conference in Kabul that dozens of civilians had suffered casualties.
Khogyani advisor council chief Syed Habib Arwal told the press conference that 70 civilians, including women and children, had suffered casualties during the just concluded operation.
He urged the government to assist the affected families who faced a number of problems. The council issued a statement that said the people of the three districts fully supported the national security forces, but civilian casualties and damages to people’s properties from either warring side were not acceptable.
It said the Operation Iron Triangular did not produce any significant results two districts of Nangarhar and instead further widened the gap between the people and the government. The Khogyani council urged the government to conduct future security operations in consultation with tribal elders and the people so that civilian casualties could be avoided.
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