40 Taliban killed; security forces retake Baharak district
FAIZABAD/SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): Security officials on Saturday claimed inflicting heavy casualties on Taliban in the battle to recapture the Baharak district of northeastern Badakhshan province. But the rebels rejected the claim.
The insurgents overran Baharak on Friday evening, but the security personnel -- supported by international troops -- retook the district within two hours, the deputy police chief said.
Col. Sakhi Dad Haidari, told Pajhwok Afghan News 40 Taliban fighters were killed as a result of an airstrike during the operation.
In Kabul, Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Siddique Siddiqui told a press conference the security personnel had recaptured Baharak and planned to conduct an operation for retaking the Warduj district of the province.
Earlier, an MoI statement said Taliban-designated governor for Badakhshan, Qari Fasihuddin, was among those killed as a result of the air raid. But fighters denied the assertion as baseless government propaganda.
Foreign nationals were among the dead fighters, but their identities were yet to be established, said the police spokesman, Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were still in control of Baharak district. He also spoke of several security personnel killed and wounded.
Separately, 19 militants were killed and as many others wounded in two separate clashes and an airstrike in Khomab and Mangjeek districts of northern Jawzjan, said the police chief, Brig. Gen. Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani.
However, Mujahid claimed they had surrounded the Mangjeek district headquarters, inflicted casualties on security forces and seized arms and ammunition.
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