Afghan policemen prepare themselves near a frontline during a battle with the Taliban in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

10 villages purged of Taliban

Monitoring Desk

KUNDUZ: The security forces purged 10 villages of Taliban during an ongoing operation in Imam Sahib district in Kunduz province, officials said on Sunday.

Joint Afghan forces launched operation in Imam Sahib district four days ago. The offensive is still in progress. Talking to media governor of Imam Sahib district, Mehboobullah Saeedi said 10 villages had been purged of Taliban in the operation so far. Afghan troops have been deployed in the cleared areas, he added.

The Qatar Balaq area is also included in the cleared villages, he said. This area remained under the control of Taliban over the past few years, he added. The Taliban suffered heavy casualties in the operation, he said.

Local residents confirmed that the villages have gone out of the control of Taliban.

Meanwhile, the media office of Pamir 20th regiment in Kunduz said over 40 Taliban fighters were killed and 50 more wounded in the offensive.

The officials have not said anything about casualties to Afghan forces in the operation so far. However, some sources told AIP that an improvised explosive device went off in Qarghazo area. Resultantly, operational in-charge of 20th regiment, Abdul Bashir was killed and two more troops were injured, the sources added.

Four security personnel, including the officer were killed and five more sustained injuries in the operation so far. Information about casualties to Afghan civilians is not available at the moment.

Afghan officials said some foreign fighters were also among the fallen Taliban gunmen. However, the Taliban rejected the reports as false.

The Taliban claimed causing heavy casualties to security forces in Imam Sahib district. They said the advance movement of the security forces has been stopped.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said only three fighters suffered casualties in the offensive.

He said the US aircrafts conducted bombardment on civilian houses in Qarghazo area. Resultantly, he said many civilians suffered casualties. Multiple houses were also destroyed in the blitz, he claimed.



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