40 gunmen dead, wounded in Maiwand operation

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR: Afghan security forces killed 30 anti-government gunmen and wounded 10 others in an overnight offensive in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province, police claimed Saturday. Taliban, however, said 22 civilians were killed in the operation.

The personnel of 03rd Police Unit raided the bases of anti-government gunmen in the Sra Baghal area of Maiwand district, said Abdul Raziq, police chief of Kandahar province.

“During the operations, 10 bases were eliminated, 30 gunmen were killed and 10 more wounded. The security forces also seized a health centre, 34 vehicles including 26 motorcycles, a telephone exchange and several computers,” he told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP). According to provincial police chief, only two security men sustained injuries during the operation.

Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmad, however, claimed 22 civilians were killed during ground and aerial operations conducted in the sra Baghal area last night. He did not give further details. The Afghan officials had also claimed killing 15 Taliban in the same areas on 11th of this month but the Taliban had claimed those killed in the operation were civilians, not Taliban. Similarly, the Afghan officials had reported the death of 50 Taliban in the Band Taimour area of the same district last month but Human Rights Watch said 20 civilians were in the operation.

Officials confirm 29 civilians dead, wounded in operation: Afghan officials on Saturday confirmed that four civilians were killed and 25 others wounded during operation targeting anti-government gunmen in the Juram district of northeastern Badakhshan province.

The security forceshas been conducting operations against Afghan and foreign militants in the Farghamiro area of Juram district for the last three days, said Sanaullah Rohani, spokesman of Badakhshan police. A large number of armed opponents have been killed so far, he said, adding a woman among four civilians were also killed and 25 more wounded as heavy weapons’ shell fired during the clashes hit houses.

According to police, several houses were also damaged. The police spokesman conceded the most of the damages were caused by Afghan National Army (ANA) artillery fire. Investigations are ongoing into civilian casualties.

He said the Farghmiro area was cleared of militants. Earlier, ANA officials claimed that deputy chief of Chinese fighters, Mustafa, and another Chinese fighter among seven militants were killed and 13 wounded during the operation. Taliban always deny the presence of foreign fighters in their ranks.