Kandahar-Helmand highway month-long blockade ends
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Kandahar-Helmand highway has been reopened for traffic after remaining closed for about a month in southern Helmand province, officials said on Monday.
Capt. Shakeel Tasal, a spokesman for the 215 Maiwand Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News the road was reopened as a result of a joint operation involving Afghan National Army (ANA), police, intelligence and commando personnel late on Sunday night.
A number of militants were killed during the operation and the security forces escaped unharmed during the offensive, he said, adding the highway had been cleared of roadside bombs. He said military vehicles travelled on the road, but civilian vehicles were yet to use it.
Tasal said the Helmand public works department had been informed to reconstruct culverts destroyed as a result of roadside bombings on the road.
A day earlier, Helmand public works officials said they were ready to reconstruct the culverts.
Governor Hayatullah Hayat confirmed the highway had been reopened for traffic but said Taliban insurgents had blown up most of the culverts on the route and created problems for traffic.
He said Afghan forces would launch a large-scale operation for ensuring security of the highway and other areas in Helmand.
A security official, who wished not to be named, said both Taliban and Afghan force had suffered casualties during the operation.
The source said the highway was not fully opened and currently only military vehicles used it.
There has been no word from Taliban about the highway’s reopening.
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