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Hesarak areas cleared of Taliban

Hesarak areas cleared of Taliban

Aug 31, 2013 - 13:52

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan army on Saturday claimed gaining ground against the Talibaninfo-icon insurgents in a just-concluded operation in the Hesarak district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Codenamed as Shaheen-15, the search operation that involved Afghan National Army’s 201st Shaheen Military Corps resulted in the killing of a key Taliban commander, Zarqawi, along with his 17 fighters.

Col. Nauman Hatifi, the corps spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News all targeted areas and highways in the district had been cleared. At least 25 militants were wounded during the operation, he said.

Zarqawi was a key Taliban commander in the district, which borders the Azra town of central Logar province. The injured rebels included Kashmir Khan, another senior Taliban figure, the official said, adding Khan had his legs severed.

Nine troops sustained injuries and one was killed, said Hatifi, who spoke days after Nangarhar security officials claimed Zarqawi and Kashmir Khan had been killed in Sherzad district.

But both later phoned Pajhwok Afghan News to say they were alive. The Taliban have so far said nothing about the Hesarak operation.

A tribal elder, Dr. Sabir, confirmed the military operation, but said the fighters continued to hold sway and intimidate residents. He suggested the creation of security posts in the areas cleared of insurgents to keep them from staging a comeback.

Col. Hatifi also said security forces had seized an explosives-laden vehicle and detained two individuals in Khogyani district.



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