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Army nabs 21 gunmen in Faryab amid chorus of discontent

AT-KABUL: The Army says it has captured some 21 irresponsible gunmen in a military operation carried out in Faryab province by Special Forces, as violent protests over the arrest of a local commander loyal to Gen. Dostum are spiraling out of control in the northern region.

The 209 Shaheen Corps spokesman Mohammad Hanif Rezaee said a cache of weapons and military vehicles were also seized during the crackdown from the armed men – who had attacked an army helicopter last week.

Rezaee said two people were killed and two others wounded in the operation. He added that no casualty was sustained by government forces.

Nine light weapons, two Humvees, four police Ranger vehicles, one armed SUV vehicle and two heavy weapons were seized during the operation, he reckoned.

The arrest was a response to an intelligence report that the arrested gunmen were planning to stage an attack on government forces, he said. The operation was conducted on Thursday night at a house near Faryab airport in Maimana city, the provincial capital.

Some local officials in Faryab have claimed that the attack was conducted on Qaisar police chief Nizamuddin Qaisari’s house to arrest his armed men.

However, the army spokesman rejected the claims as baseless.

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