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29 Taliban fighters killed in Kunar

By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: At least 29 Taliban militants were killed after the Afghan security forces repulsed their coordinated attack on a police check posts in Ghaziabad district of Kunar province on Saturday morning, provincial official said.

In addition 30 Taliban insurgents received injuries in the attack. According to officials, the Taliban militants had sustained heavy casualties. “Unfortunately, one policeman was killed and three others were wounded in the attack,” the source said while wishing anonymity.

However, the Taliban’s spokesman, Zaibullah Mujahid, claimed that the militants killed 11 Afghan security forces. Two Taliban were killed and five others wounded in the attack, he claimed.

The attack on security posts was carried out at a time when the Taliban insurgents announced their spring offense codenamed “Operation Omari” and pledge to carry out more attacks across the country.

This is not for the first time that the Taliban are facing the wrath of Afghan security forces as they previously, conducted a massive coordinate attacks on six districts of the Kunar province, but the Afghan security forces repulsed their attack in which scores of Taliban fighters were killed and wounded.

Provincial security officials assured the residents of tight security to avoid any untoward incident. They also said to improve the security further to defeat the Taliban in the province.

Insecurity has increased in the eastern provinces. In the start of February, hundreds of Nangarhar residents staged demonstrations in Kabul to protest what they said “mounting insecurity” in several parts of the province, calling the empowerment of the Taliban insurgents and emerging of the Islamic State the major elements.

Protestors accused the government of incompetence and negligence in ensuring security and said that six districts faced serious threats in the province.

They claimed that Taliban and Islamic State have made Achin, Nazian, Spinghar, Kot, De Bala and Shinwari districts unsafe.

Azizullah Shinwar, Head of Shinwari Tribal Council told media that due to mounting insecurity, so far around 30,000 families have fled their homes.

“Insurgents are trying to find foothold in the secure parts of Nangarhar,” Shinwar warned.

He asked the central government to dismiss the provincial governor, claiming he does not deserve the position.

“Nangarhar governor Salim Khan Kunduzi is an unskilled person and unable to manage the province. Therefore, people seriously want government to replace him with a capable person.”

“A large-scale operation should be conducted to eliminate Taliban in Shinwari and other districts,” said another protestor Zirak Shinwari.

He said Pakistani insurgents entered the bordering districts and compelled people to leave their homes.

“They kill tribal elders, torch schools and spark ethnic discriminations among people.”

Zulmai from Kot district said that 5,000 families were displaced to Kabul, living in the severe cold weather.

“Taliban and Islamic State are fighting each other and the security forces only watch them,” he said, adding that there is a good chance for them to remove the two groups.

Nangarhar is considered as a strategic province for the Islamic State and the terrorist organization has recently started recruiting the unaware youth there.

Earlier, the security forces claimed they killed tens of the Islamic State fighters through land and air operations there.

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