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300 Taliban rebels killed in Helmand fighting

AT News

KABUL: More than 300 Taliban rebels including their commanders have been killed in the fighting that has gripped Lashkargah city in southern Helmand province since early last week, Governor said on Saturday.

The Taliban have been pushed back from the outskirts of Lashkargah city after a week of skirmishes and Afghan security forces dealt a devastating blow to the militants, killing hundreds of them, said Helmand Governor Mohammad Yasin Khan.

Earlier, he had said Lashkargah city was never under complete siege after the Taliban started an organized attack to outflank the city a week ago.

The clashes left seven security forces killed and 30 others injured, he stated.

 “The Taliban have suffered heavy casualties in Helmand. On Friday alone, militants took 85 of their dead bodies to Quetta city of Pakistan to hand them over to their families,” said Maiwand 215th Corps Commander, Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai.

“The Taliban will take their dream of taking Lashkargah to their graves,” he said, “The enemy planned to overrun Lashkargah city for leverage in peace talks; but they will never attain that vicious goal.”

He stated that enough number of security forces including the army, police and intelligence forces has been drafted in Helmand province, and they will defend people and the province till the last drop of their blood.

Meanwhile, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said recently that the Taliban had been planning the Helmand attack for nine months. The Taliban, however, faced a quick and strong retaliation from Afghan security forces who ousted them from the area and are clearing the province.

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