Foreign troops, Afghan special police reach Lashkargah
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Local officials said on Friday said that some foreign troops and personnel from the Afghan special police unit have reached Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, and adjacent areas to contain the insurgency.
Taliban militants have been waging attacks on security posts in neighborhoods of Lashkargah over the past few days.
Helmand police spokesman Shah Mohammad Ashna told Pajhwok Afghan News that Taliban militants had decreased their attacks in Lashkargah and its adjacent areas including nearby Nad Ali district since last night.
He said operations were underway in Baba Jee area of Lashkargah, Nad Ali and Greshk districts and the forces had advanced while the insurgents had lost courage to put up resistance.
Ashna said 10 US military tanks and some personnel reached Lashkargah from neighbouring Kandahar province last night. The American troops would call in air support and conduct operations when needed, he said.
He said foreign troops’ helicopters and fighter jets were hovering over the said areas since last night, but they had not carried out bombardment so far. As a result, Taliban have curtailed their attacks.
The police spokesman said security forces were engaged in operations and the only problem they faced were landmines the Taliban had planted on roads and farm fields.
Ashna rejected rumours that Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq was in Lashkargah and said currently Helmand police leadership was spearheading the police operations.
However, he confirmed the Interior Ministry’s special police forces had reached Lashkargah. He said security forces had not yet suffered any casualties while the Taliban suffered heavy casualties in various ground and air operations.
Lt. Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazi, the 215 Maiwand Military Corps spokesman in Helmand, said the security forces had so far captured a number of areas and there was no threat to Lashkargah. He said strong security bunkers had been established around the city.
Zazi said nothing about the arrival of foreign troops to Lashkargah, but said the special police forces had arrived from Kanadahar and they were equipped with night vision goggles.
He said another 25 Taliban militants were killed last night during the ongoing ground and air operation and the security forces were advancing.
Gul, a resident of Loy Mandah area of Nad Ali district, told Pajhwok Afghan News all roads the Taliban captured on the day one remained in their control.
He said the Afghan Air Force jets used to target those taking away equipment from a captured Afghan army base, but these individuals were mostly civilians.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi renewed his claim that most areas in Baba Jee including Lomandah, Shawal and 31 Gharbi areas remained in their control and that the insurgents had suffered no casualties so far.
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