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Army regains control of 5 districts; 1,170 rebels killed

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KABUL: Government forces have killed at least 1,177 Taliban rebels in raids sprawling across the country that also led to recapturing of five districts from the clutch of Taliban since Wednesday last week, security officials said on Sunday.

A government spokesman on Sunday announced that security forces had captured five districts from Taliban and killed hundreds of rebels after a string of countrywide operations.

“Since last Wednesday, Afghan forces carried out 124 operations supported by the Air Force in 25 provinces, killing 1,177 Taliban rebels and injuring 651 others, said a spokesman for Security Sector, Ajmal Omar Shinwari.

At press conference, Shinwari said the onslaughts had also led to the arrest of at least 42 insurgents.

“Afghan forces are ready to carry out assaults against militants, but using mosques, schools and civilian populated areas as strongholds caused the security forces conduct the operations with extra caution in order to prevent harm to public institutions and civilians,” he said.

He spurned Taliban’s claim that they control 85 percent of territory in Afghanistan as groundless.

“Taliban do not provide any governance services and facilities to the people, but tyranny and violence in the areas the group controls,” added Shinwari.

Responding a question about situation at Islam Qala border crossing in light of recent Taliban attacks there, Shinwari said the border is under control of government forces as well as Hairatan Port, which were both overrun by the Taliban last weeks.

In the wake of Taliban advances into important hubs of trade, Afghan forces have been fighting tooth and nail to regain control. “And now the battle continues for Shir Khan Port in Kunduz. The port is the distance line between Afghan forces and the enemy, where security forces carry out operations with caution to not harm the public institutions and civilians to rid the area of the militants,’ he underlined.

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