120 Taliban eliminated in Helmand offensive: Police chief
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): More than a hundred Taliban fighters have been killed in the Marja district of southern Helmand province, where security forces have retaken the control of most areas from insurgents, an official said on Thursday.
Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Rahman Sarjang, told reporters the security forces launched a clearing operation against the insurgents a couple of days back in the area.
He said clashes were still underway in parts of the restive district, while the main road leading to the town, which remained blocked for two years, had been reopened for traffic.
Sarjang added the security personnel had strengthened their positions in the area, where Taliban could not stage a comeback. The operation in Marja featured air force and ground troops.
But district officials claimed the offensive was initiated by the foreign troops but later the Afghans were put in charge.
A district security official, who wished not to be named, said police had requested Afghan soldiers to coordinate and take part in the current offensive, but they did not cooperate.
Security officials tried to take reporters to the site, but the insurgents opened fire on their convoy and they had to return.
But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed the group still controlled most areas of Marja, where clashes were still ongoing between the two sides.
Currently, Baghran, Deshu, Musa Qala and Nawzad districts are under Taliban’s control. The government maintains its writ in Marja, Greshk, Kajaki and some other districts of the restive province.
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