35 Taliban killed, 40 wounded on highway: Dostum
SAR-I-PUL CITY/SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): At least 35 Taliban fighters have been killed and another 40 wounded during the ongoing offensive on the Sar-i-Pul-Jawzjan highway in northern Jawzjan province, the 1st vice president said on Monday.
Gen. Dostum, who is spearheading the operation, said the operation on the highway was launched on Monday morning after five districts of Jawzjan were cleared of militants. The operation was still underway.
Dostum said the operation was started from Qara-Keent area on the outskirts of Shiberghan, Jawzjan capital, and extended to Syed Abad area on the outskirts of Sar-i-Pul city, the capital of neighbouring Sar-i-Pul province.
He said at least 40 villages had been cleared of Taliban and the operation would continue in Sar-i-Pul.
“For residents to escape unharmed, we used tactics of taekwondo champion Baz Mohammad Bariz and drove insurgents from villages and chased them by helicopters till there hideouts. So far 35 Taliban militants have been killed, 40 wounded and another 15 detained.”
During searching of houses, dozens of various types of weapons were recovered and the searching would continue, Dostum declared.
The operation featuring 2,000 security personnel backed by air support chased rebels from villages till their hideouts, he said.
The Sar-i-Pul-Jawzjan highway, the only route leading to Sar-i-Pul province, has always been under threats from insurgents.
However, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, rejected Dostum’s claim and said only two of their fighters had been killed and said governmental forces sustained heavy casualties during the conflict.
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