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163 rebels dead in weeks of Helmand operation

163 rebels dead in weeks of Helmand operation

Nov 05, 2017 - 20:18

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): At least 163 insurgents have been killed and another 42 wounded during weeks of an ongoing operation in southern Helmand province, officials said on Sunday.

Launched about three weeks back, the anti-insurgent clearing operation is focused on areas on the outskirts of Lashkargah, the provincial capital, and Marja and Nad Ali districts.

Maj. Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, the Afghan National Army’s 215th Maiwand Military Corps commander, told a press conference here that air and ground forces were taking part in the operation, which he said was successfully ongoing.

He said about 163 rebels had been so far killed and another 42 wounded in the offensive that led to the destruction of 53 vehicles and 30 light and heavy weapons belonging to militants.

About 312 landmines were discovered and defused during the period, Ahmadzai said, adding the operation would continue until all targeted areas were cleared of insurgents.

Meanwhile, Helmand Governor Hayatullah Hayat said insurgents had severely damaged the road at four different locations in Chah-i-Injir area and had also destroyed many culverts in the area.

“If Taliban think they will prevent security forces from advancing by emplacing landmines and destroying public utilities, they are hugely mistaken.”

The corps commander asked people to cooperate with security forces in protecting public assets like roads, culverts and bridges.

Meanwhile, provincial council head Mohammad Karim Atal dubbed the ongoing operation as ‘successful’ and asked people not to allow insurgents to find refuge in their areas.