At least 9 civilians lose lives to ongoing clashes in Paktia
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): At least nine civilians have been killed during clashes between security forces and Taliban in the Zurmat district of southeastern Paktia province, an official said on Wednesday.
Zurmat district chief Kaftan Ekhlas confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News heavy fighting had been ongoing between the rebels and security forces in for the past three days.
He acknowledged that two women and seven men had been killed during clashes do far. “The civilians were killed by a mortar shell fired by the militants and a roadside bombing.” Clashes are still underway in some parts of the district.
Col. Fazal Khuda, the 203rd Thunder Corps spokesman, also verified firefights in the district over the past three days. The fighters had suffered heavy casualties, he said, but did not provide exact figures.
A resident of Zurmat district, Mohammad Ghani, said: “Two days ago, the Taliban came here and warned people through our mosque’s loudspeaker not to come out of homes.”
He alleged the militants had planted bombs on roads and people could not travel them. Ghani added that a number of civilians had suffered casualties in the clashes.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the militants had been attacking security posts in the district for the past three days. He claimed a large number of security forces had been killed and wounded.
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