41 Taliban killed, 50 wounded in Shindand offensive
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): At least 41 Taliban fighters were killed and another 50 wounded in joint security operations by Afghan forces in the Shindand district of western Herat province, officials said on Saturday.
Local officials said following the infighting between two Taliban factions in Shindand, the Afghan security forces launched a joint operation codenamed “Azam 32” in the district on Thursday.
Personnel from the Afghan National Army (ANA), the National Directorate of Security (NDS), police, commando and air force are taking part in the still in progress operation.
Jilani Farhad, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the operation was aimed at clearing and preventing war crimes in the district.
At least 41 militants were killed and more than 50 were wounded during the offensive that led to the destruction of 15 motorcycles, 8 vehicles, 4 machineguns, 3 rockets and other ammunition and equipment.
Civilians and security forces have so far suffered no casualties during the offensive focused on Azizabad area and central parts of Zirkoh village, Farhad said.
The infighting between two rival Taliban factions had resulted in the killing of 200 militants on both sides and dozens others were injured.
Tor Mohammad Zarifi, a former member of the provincial council and tribal elder in Shindand, told Pajhwok that after the defeat of Mullah Nangyalai in the infighting, masked gunmen loyal to Mullah Samad carrying black flags took control of villages which had been under Nangyalai and beheaded and gunned down 80 civilians.
Expressing his concern over possible fall of Shindand district to insurgents, Zarifi said security forces were in control of the only district administration building while insurgents ruled the rest of the town.
He said security forces were concerned about their own safety and they could not provide security to civilians. “If the situation continues, Shindand district will fall to the insurgents.”
The gubernatorial spokesman said after Mullah Nangyalai fled, his rival Mullah Samad’s fighters started killing civilians in the district.
However, Najibullah Najibi, the 207th Zafar military corps spokesman, told Pajhwok that Nangyalai had surrendered to the national army along with his 100 fighters.
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