Afghan forces kill at least 55 militants in airstrikes - GulfToday

Afghan forces kill at least 55 militants in airstrikes


Members of the Afghan Special Forces tend to a soldier injured during a firefight with Taliban in Kandahar on Monday. Reuters

At least 55 militants were killed in multiple airstrikes carried out by the Afghan Air Force, who repelled an assault by Taliban fighters on the provincial centre of a key northern province bordering Tajikistan on Sunday.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed on Monday that the Taliban assault was the latest in a string of offensives that has seen insurgents capture territory across Afghanistan as US-led foreign forces are in the final stages of withdrawing troops after almost 20 years of fighting.


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The governor of Takhar province Abdullah Qarluq said, “The enemy's offensive attacks were repelled, and they suffered heavy and unprecedented casualties, as a result of which 55 enemy soldiers were killed and 90 were wounded.”

In southern Helmand province, 14 militants were killed and two others wounded after warplanes targeted Taliban hideouts in Garmser district, the Ministry said in a statement.

A member of the Afghan Special Forces drives a Humvee during a combat mission against Taliban on Sunday. Reuters

The victims included Mawlawi Hijrat, a deputy commander of the Taliban's Sara Keta or Red Unit for Garmser.

Twenty militants died and 35 others were injured when the air force targeted hideouts in Dilaram district in western Nimroz province, according to the Ministry.

While the US and NATO troops are leaving the country, violence in the country is on the rise.

To check the situation, the Afghan government security forces also continued to target the militants.

India said on Sunday it had temporarily repatriated officials from its consulate in Kandahar, a major city in southern Afghanistan.

"Due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being," Arindam Bagchi, chief spokesperson at India's foreign ministry, said in a statement.

"India is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan," Bagchi said, adding that India's consulate in Kandahar was being run by local staff temporarily.

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