Helmand fighting may continue for a month at least: Hayat
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The security situation in southern Helmand province would come under control in four weeks, Governor Hayatullah Hayat said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference here, he said insurgents’ nefarious designs to overrun the province had been foiled and it would take some time purging Helmand of rebels.
He added security threats to Lashkargah, the provincial capital, had been eliminated and the Taliban's plans frustrated. Hundreds of fresh troops had arrived in Lashkargah and operations would be launched soon.
"But the fighting against the militants would likely take three to four weeks,” he believed, claiming at least 85 rebels, including notorious commanders had been eliminated in the past 24 hours in Lashkargah, Marja, Nad Ali and Garmser districts.
Brig. Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, commander of the 215th Maiwand Military Corps, said the situation was fully under control. He said fresh troops comprised of commandos, quick reaction force and Special Forces had arrived in the provinces.
He denied casualties among security personnel or their surrender to insurgents in Nad Ali, Chah-i-Injir and Babaji areas.
However, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed soldiers stationed in Chah-i-Injir and Babaji areas had been besieged by the fighters over the past five days.
Many security forces security men have been killed and some others surrendered to the Taliban during the siege.
Over the past few days, clashes between the Taliban and security forces have been underway on the outskirts of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th police districts of Lashkargah.
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