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Offensive launched in Balkh to flush out rebels

Offensive launched in Balkh to flush out rebels

By
On
Apr 17, 2012 - 19:09

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A major security operation -- codenamed Fourth Initiative -- was launched in northern Balkh province to flush out the Taliban from two districts, officials said on Tuesday.

The offensive that started four days ago in Chamtal and Charbulak districts involved Afghan National Army (ANA), police, intelligence, border police and public order police personnel.

Having air support from NATO-led troops, the operation came in response to a request from residents, police chief Brig. Gen. Ismatullah Alizai, told a press conference in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Although no clash has so far occurred during the offensive, some heavy and light guns had been seized, the police chief said.

But some residents accused police of searching civilian houses for narcotics. “We are happy that police are protecting our area against miscreants, but they should not search our houses,” said Syed Agha, a resident of Chamtal.

The police chief said police checked houses with prior permission from the officials concerned and that no house was searched without an intelligence report.

The 209th Shaheen Military Corps commander, Gen. Ghulam Farooq Ahmadi, said so far nearly 30 percent of areas of the two districts had been cleared during the operation.

frm/ma/mud