Civilians among 22 killed in Ghormach clashes
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): At least 18 insurgents and four civilians have been killed following a Taliban attack on the Ghormach district of northern Faryab province, an official said on Saturday.
Maj. Reza Rezaee, spokesperson for the 209th Shaheen Military Corps, said around 2,000 fighters staged attacks on Ghormach from neighboring districts and Badghis province late on Friday.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents were pushed back in the early hours of Saturday. Rezaee said 18 fighters, including notorious commanders Mullah Mohiuddin, Osman and Rahmatullah, were killed and 20 more wounded.
He added three army soldiers suffered injuries and there was possibility of civilian casualties as well since the Taliban fired mortar shells at residential areas.
A local elder, who did not wish to be named, said both sides used heavy weaponry and two women, a child and a man were killed after their house was struck by a rocket.
He said the Taliban had captured the Ghormach clinic on Friday and had closed in on the district headquarters, but were beaten back by the security forces. Hundreds of families had to flee to safe localities, he added.
Asal Khan, a district official, alleged another mortar attack by insurgents had wounded two civilians and torched a shop. He said the Taliban’s offensive in the past 14 years in the district was unprecedented.
Ghormach is one of Badghis districts that have been included in Faryab province in the past 10 years.
The Taliban have not commented on the incident, but the group claimed responsibility for destroying a tank in Sherin Tagab district. The fighters also overran the Garziwan district of Faryab 10 days ago before it was retaken by security forces last week.
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