30 militants killed in Helmand gun-battle: police
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Thirty Taliban fighters were killed and scores others wounded during an hours-long clash with police in southern Helmand province, an official said on Sunday.
Helmand police chief Brig. Gen. Nabi Jan Mullakel told reporters in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, the insurgents had been planning to block the Helmand-Kandahar highway in Greshk, Nehr Siraj and Sarkar districts against traffic.
But police clashed with the insurgents and the firefight lasted four hours, leaving 30 militants dead and a number of others wounded, he said, adding that only police were involved in the engagement.
He said the police escaped unhurt while the bodies of dead militants could be seen lying on the ground. The police confiscated two Kalashnikovs, as many rocket launchers, other ammunition and an explosives-laden vehicle, the police chief said, claiming the insurgents had been pushed back from the said areas.
Mullakhel said the Taliban had been weakened in Geskhk, Nad Ali and Babaji area of Lashkargah and many areas had been retaken from them.
But 215 Maiwand military corps spokesman Mohammad Rassoul Zazi said the army troops had taken part in the clash with militants. He said a number of militants had been killed and wounded, but exact figures were unknown.
However, a Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the rebels clashed twice on Sunday with security forces in Babaji area. He said the clashes continued until 11am and a number of security forces suffered casualties.
The Taliban launched attacks on Babaji area on the outskirts of Lashkargah few days ago, overrunning some security posts and areas.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.