19 Taliban eliminated in Baghlan operation, claims Barez
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Local officials in northern Baghlan province and the Taliban on Wednesday made conflicting claims about causalities after clashes in Dand-i-Ghori neighbourhood.
Governor Abdul Sattar Barez told Pajhwok Afghan News 19 insurgents had been killed during clashes in the area where security forces were making progress after resuming a clearing operation.
Barez added foreign militants, including Chechens, Pakistanis and Uzbeks, were among the dead rebels. The frontline was recaptured from the Taliban as security forces defused 20 landmines.
But the Taliban claimed 11 US soldiers and 15 Afghan troops had been killed in the ongoing fighting. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said drones and gunship helicopters struck rebel positions.
Afghan infantry also shelled Taliban bases in the area, Mujahid said, adding the fighters had made a tactical retreat. Five Taliban were killed and three others wounded and some civilian homes destroyed in the airstrikes.
Barez, however, rejected the participation of NATO soldiers in the ongoing offensive and said the operation was being carried out by the 209th Shahin Military Corps personnel.
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