Night raids effective in Helmand: Corps commander
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Afghan military has started conducting operations at night against insurgents in southern Helmand province and the raids are said to have “considerable gains.”
Gen. Mobin Faqir, the Afghan National Army’s Maiwand Military Corps commander in Helmand, on Monday told a press conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, that the Afghan special forces personnel had launched the night raids in various parts of the province against militants.
He said so far dozens of militants had been killed and 56 others captured alive during the operations. “Before the launch of the night raids, there were coordinated insurgent attacks. The insurgents had overt safe havens, but now they don’t have such places,” Gen. Faqir said, explaining how effective the nighttime operations were.
He said security forces targeted insurgent leaders and their sanctuaries and had so far confiscated a large quantity of ammunition and explosives.
“We conduct these operations very carefully and under special plans as no one from civilian and the security forces has suffered casualties,” the general said.
Faqir said the insurgents had stopped carrying out group attacks since the launch of the night raids and the rebels used to change their safe havens.
He said fighter jets had an overwhelming role in the nighttime operations which he said would continue.
The commander said security forces had launched their operation in Marja district in strong coordination with each other, but the operations had been slow going in order to avoid civilian casualties.
He said the Taliban had emplaced countless landmines in Marja, Babaji area of Lashkargah and other areas and operations were underway to demine the areas.
“In the Taliban ranks, some masked gunmen have appeared. Even their other comrades don’t know them. They carry guns fitted with field glasses and silencers and fight till death,” said Faqir.
He said security forces were trying to capture these masked gunmen alive to determine who they were.
About two months ago, Taliban militants carried out group attacks in Babaji area, Nad Ali district’s Chah Injir and Greskh district’s Malgir areas and captured these areas. The rebels are still in control of the areas.
However, security officials say a major operation has been launched to recapture these areas.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.