Taliban’s shadow governor among several militants killed
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Wednesday said Taliban’s shadow governor had been eliminated along with 14 rebels during an operation in Kunduz City -- a claim rejected by militants.
Three days ago, the insurgents attacked the provincial capital from several directions and took control of the entire city after a 14-hour battle with security forces.
A statement from NDS said Taliban’s shadow governor Maulvi Salam, his deputy Zabihullah and Haris -- the head of Lashkar-i-Taiba -- were among those killed during the operation.
Salam and his accomplices, who were heading to Kunduz airport, were targeted by Afghan Air Force helicopters on Tuesday night, the spy service said in a statement.
However, the Taliban rejected the NDS claim in a report on their website. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was in contact with Salam, who was well and alive. He promised an interview the leader would be posted to the Taliban website soon.
Meanwhile, the militants stormed the main provincial airport with small and heavy weapons late on Tuesday. Local officials said the assault was repulsed.
US-led coalition forces also conducted their first airstrike on Talban targets on the outskirts of Kunduz City in the morning. The Department of State said the militants had suffered heavy casualties.
Some security officials said 160 militants had been killed in the battle for Kunduz City. But the rebel spokesman said Afghan forces suffered heavy casualties during clashes and the airport was currently under siege.
The insurgent movement also claimed seizing eight military tanks, four Ranger pick-ups and 15 other vehicles along with a large quantity of weapons and ammunition.
Kunduz residents say the city has become a battlefield and residents cannot come out of homes due to ongoing clashes. The Ministry of Public Health said a day earlier 16 bodies and 170 wounded people were shifted to the Kunduz Zonal Hospital.
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