20 Taliban eliminated in Kajaki fighting, ANA claims
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Twenty Taliban fighters have been killed in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province, authorities said on Thursday, but the insurgents claimed retaining control of the town.
Mohammad Rassoul Zazai, spokesman for the 215th Maiwand Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News 20 militants were killed and 35 others wounded in two days of clashes in the district.
“There is no fighting at the moment, as the rebels have retreated. At least two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were also wounded during a bomb explosion in the area,” Zazai said.
Abdul Majid Akhundzada, a provincial council member from Kajaki district, said a string of clashes had occurred in the area between the Taliban and security forces over the past three days.
He acknowledged most parts of the district had been captured by the guerrillas, saying only Tangi area was being controlled by the security personnel.
“Several government installations and the Kajaki hydroelectric power dam are located in Tangi area, which is also in the grip of fighting,” the public representative said.
Some foreign experts had arrived in Kajaki to install a third turbine at the dam, but they had to return yesterday due to fighting, the provincial council member added.
Kajaki Social Council head Shahabuddin also told Pajhwok the Taliban had capture most areas of the district. “The area has been besieged, with residents and security forces needing urgent assistance.”
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi claimed the fighters had seized much of Kajaki district. A battle was ongoing for the control of Tangi area, he said.
“The Taliban are attacking the district police headquarters,” said Ahmadi, who added they had captured three bases and nine checkpoints in Kajaki so far. However, he said nothing about casualties.
For his part, Zazai announced the launch of search operations in Musa Qala -- another Taliban stronghold -- where civil departments would resume work in a few days.
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