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Civilians among 29 killed in Helmand raid

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): At least 25 Taliban insurgents and four civilians have been killed in a security operation in the Sangin district of southern Helmand province, an official said on Sunday.

Omar Zwak, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel conducted the raid in Pozy area late on Saturday night.

Twenty-five rebels were killed and 10 others captured alive, he said, adding several weapons, ammunition, explosives and vehicles belonging to militants were destroyed.

According to Zwak, four civilians were also killed and two others wounded in the overnight operation by the Special Forces. He added no information was immediately available on how the civilians were harmed.

A delegation would be appointed soon to investigate the casualties inflicted on civilians, he promised, insisting the collateral damage was not as high as reported by some media outlets.

Taliban confirmed the raid, with the group’s spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claiming that Afghan and American forces carried out raids in Pozy, Khanan and Barakzai villages.

He said 11 civilians, including women and children, were killed and nine others, including women and children, wounded in the overnight raids. A mosque, three civilian houses, two shops and eight vehicles were damaged, he claimed.