HIA gunmen driven from Baghlan coalmines
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Gunmen loyal to the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) group have been driven from two coalmines in northern Baghlan provinces as a result of a security operation, an official said on Sunday.
Baghlan police spokesman Ahmad Javed Basharat told Pajhwok Afghan News the HIA fighters had been in control of the coalmines --- Karkar and Dudkash coalmines – over the past two months and the deposits were retaken from them early on Sunday.
The police official said the HIA fighters led by Commander Mirwais had suffered casualties during a clash with security forces around the coalmines, 10 kilometres from Pul-i-Khumri, the provincial capital.
The coalmines were attacked by HIA fighters two months back and held around 40 people captive and took away 11 vehicles from the sites. The kidnapped workers were later released with the help of local elders after sometime.
Mohammad Haqmal, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed regaining control of the coalmines and said two HIA fighters had been killed and five others wounded during the clash with security forces.
Workers at the coalmines expressed happiness over the operation to drive the militants from the coalmines and said they would be able to resume their work.
The HIA commander could not be reached for comments over the development.
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