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11 policemen martyred in Helmand

AT-KABUL: At least eleven policemen embraced martyrdom and 12 Taliban insurgents have been killed in overnight militants’ attacks in southwestern Helmand province, officials said on Sunday.

Several Taliban fighters on Sunday early morning, attacked security check-posts of the Afghan forces in east of Lashkargah, the capital city, in which 11 security forces martyred and 12 Taliban insurgents were killed, provincial governor spokesman, Omar Zwak said. In addition to that eight militants were wounded.

The attack was carried out against check posts in police district 7th and 8th in eastern part of Lashkargah around 1:00am Saturday night, and lasted until nearly 5:00am, Salam Afghan, spokesman for Helmand police chief told Afghanistan Times.

However, Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, in a statement claimed their fighters have captured two check posts of the security forces in the attack.  16 policemen were killed and several vehicles of the security forces destroyed, the terrorist group claimed.

The attack was carried out by Taliban’s Red Unit, Ahmadi said. The Red Unit commander Mullah Nasir was killed last month by the Afghan security forces in Musa-Qala of Helmand.

Taliban have been under pressure for the past few months from the Afghan Special Forces and US air strikes, particularly under the new US strategy that gave a broader hand to the US forces to hint Taliban in the country.

The militants have lost several commanders in airstrikes and special operations, in which Afghan forces also retaken several areas from militants in Helmand, which is producing a big percentage of the country’s opium.

The opium business annually channel an estimated $200 million to Taliban pockets, an amount more than what Taliban need for run their war campaign in the country.

But, the Afghan and the U.S forces in recent months have kicked out targeting Taliban drug labs and trafficking networks to dry their financial sources. So far tens of Taliban drug facilities have been destroyed in joint operations.

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