80 Taliban militants killed in Paktika clashes, airstrikes
SHARANA (Pajhwok): Eighty Taliban militants have been killed during three days of clashes with security forces and airstrikes by foreign troops in southeastern Paktika province, police said on Thursday.
Provincial deputy police chief Col. Abdul Rauf Masood told Pajhwok Afghan News a NATO airstrike killed 10 Taliban militants including a group commander in the Gayan district on Thursday.
He said the airstrike took place in Kharkot area at about 2pm, killing a Taliban group leader, Omari, and his nine gunmen. He said the dead bodies of the militants had been handed over to tribal elders.
A resident of the district, Kamal Gayanwal, said Omari had many other gunmen in addition to those killed in the NATO blitz. “There are no government officials in the district. This area has turned into a big centre of Taliban. Omari’s men were involved in every security incident that took place in neighbouring districts,” the resident said.
The deputy police chief also said 70 Taliban militants had been killed during three days of clashes and yesterday’s bombardment of the coalition forces in the Ziruk district of the province. He said security forces had collected 25 dead bodies of the militants.
Masood said two security personnel were also killed and another three wounded during the firefight.
But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the fighters were targeted in a NATO airstrike in Gayan district. He said the rebels had besieged Ziruk district and had captured two security posts and killed and wounded 42 government forces. Mujahid said they lost two men to the clashes and another seven were wounded.
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