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15 killed as Taliban attack in Helmand ends on 3rd day

AT-KABUL: Taliban attack on Greshk district headquarters in Helmand province ended on Friday after all 11 attackers were killed by Afghan security forces, official sources told Afghanistan Times.

Ten Taliban bombers, possessing huge cache of weapons and ammunition, on Wednesday morning tried to enter into the government buildings in Greshk district. However, the terror bid was foiled by security forces when they restricted the attackers to a four storey building, close to the district headquarters.

The attackers offered nearly a 48 hours resistance against Afghan troops and finally on Friday morning the last attacker was gunned down as search operation was also ended in the area, a local officials told Afghanistan Times.

During the three days long attack at least four policemen were also killed and 12 others injured, “their injuries are not life-threatening,” Omar Zwak, the spokesman for provincial governor told Afghanistan Times.

However, local officials in Helmand on Thursday declared end to the siege, but later it became clear one of the injured attackers offered nearly 24 hours additional resistance and was shot dead Friday morning.

The attack that closed the Kandahar to Herat highway for nearly 24 hours imposed no causalities on civilians, another security source, who wished anonymity, said.

However, another source in the provincial hospital in Helmand said that more than ten civilians were also injured in the fighting that forced some nearby residents to leave their houses for hours.

The country’s main highway is passing through Greshk district which connects central and southern provinces to western Afghanistan as the main transit hub from Iran and Turkmenistan to Kabul.

Taliban, who already control several districts in northern Helmand, are pushing hard toward the provincial capital and its four relatively calm districts in recent months, after they gained control over more areas last year.

Last month the militants brought Musa-Qala and Nawzad districts under their full control, after government forces retreated from the outposts to re-manage their presence for a better defense of the remaining districts and provincial capital against the militants.

The province which is main producer of poppy and main traffic route of narcotics hold strategic importance for both government and as well as Taliban who earn enough money to run their insurgency in southern parts of the country from the illicit trade.

After security situation got worst in recent months in Helmand, President Ashraf Ghani sent an influential parliamentarian, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, as his special envoy on security issues to the province. The former commander is now managing operations against Taliban.

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