45 militants killed in airstrikes, clashes in Helmand, Paktia
LASHKARGAH/GARDEZ/MEHTARLAM (Pajhwok): Forty-five militants have been killed in airstrikes and clashes with security forces in Helmand, Paktia and Laghman provinces, officials said on Tuesday.
In Helmand, airstrikes conducted by the Afghan Air Force last night killed 15 Taliban militants in Nad Ali district and 25 in Marja district, the governor’s spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Omar Zwak said the dead included a number of high profile Taliban officials.
The governor’s house in a statement said those killed in Nad Ali and Marja districts included Kamran and Haroon, two Taliban commanders.
Zwak said nearly 800 fresh forces would reach Nad Ali until the end of the day to strengthen security there. He said areas lost to the rebels in Nad Ali would be recaptured soon.
A number of families were displaced from Nad Ali district due to clashes between security forces and Taliban militants. The clashes began two days ago.
Zwak said a commission had been tasked with delivering assistance to the displaced families.
A member of the Nad Ali local council, who declined to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News all areas, except the district centre, in Nad Ali were under Taliban control.
A resident of the town, Mohammad Nabi, said clashes were still ongoing in the district. “The Taliban are capturing areas very quickly and without any resistance.”
“People cannot come out of their homes because all roads are closed. The residents of Loya Bagh area were allowed to travel to Lashkargah after they begged the Taliban,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the fighters had captured five security posts in Marja district, killing 15 security personnel and destroying their weapons and equipment.
The Taliban are in control of Helmand’s Nawzad, Musa Qala, Baghran and Dishu districts.
Elsewhere, security officials said five Taliban militants have been killed and six others captured alive in southeastern Paktia and eastern Laghman provinces.
Paktia police chief Brig. Gen. Qadir Gul Zadran told Pajhwok Afghan News the Afghan security forces and Taliban militants clashed last night in Sahak area of Zurmat district.
Five militants were killed and seven others injured, with the Afghan forces escaping unhurt, he said.
A resident of Sahak area, Sherdad Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that a heavy clash took place between security forces and insurgents in the area last night, but he had no information about casualties.
In Laghman, intelligence officials have detained six Taliban militants. A statement from the National Directorate of Security identified the detainees as Rahmatullah, Habib Rahman, Syed Yaqub, Abdul Saboor, Ghufran and Zahid.
The statement said the detainees wanted to carry out a gun attack in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital.
Three Kalashnikovs, two pistols, two binoculars, bullets and some military equipment were recovered from the detainees, it claimed.
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