Afghan commandos wrest back Khanshin from Taliban
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Afghan security forces on Saturday recaptured the Khanshin district of southern Helmand province from Taliban militants, an official said.
Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazi, the 215 Maiwand Military Corps spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the town was captured by insurgents last night.
But the Afghan commando forces backed by the Afghan Air Force recaptured the district from insurgents at about 4:30pm on Saturday, he said.
He said the insurgents attacked the district centre last night when police were alone and there were no Afghan National Army personnel.
Col. Zazi said all areas fell to the rebels last night had been recaptured by the commando forces.
He said the Taliban fled when the air forces arrived and that was why casualties among the rebels were unknown.
Earlier local officials ruled out the fall of Khanshin district to the Taliban.
A district administration source confided to Pajhwok Afghan News Khanshin police chief Abdul Rauf and the deputy intelligence head had been wounded critically in the overnight fighting.
Earlier Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi also claimed the fighters had captured the district. He said they had inflicted heavy casualties on security forces and seized weapons and ammunition from them.
The governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed the overnight battle for the district, but did not confirm its fall to the insurgents. He said reports regarding the district’s fall were being investigated.
Abdul Majeed Akhonzada, deputy head of the provincial council, told the Associated Press, Kanashin district had "fallen into Taliban hands." Khanshin was overrun by the militants five years ago.
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