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Fresh military raids take heavy toll on Taliban: NATO

AT-KABUL: Taliban militants have suffered heavy losses during the recent joint military operations conducted by the Afghan and US Special Forces in various parts of the country, the NATO Resolute Support Mission said on Tuesday.

Afghan and US Special Forces have carried out successful raids during the past two weeks, aimed at eliminating Taliban’s leadership and their control over areas in remote and mountainous areas and financial resources of the group.

According to Resolute Support Mission, Crisis Response Unit 222, the Special Mission Wing, and Afghan Special Forces personnel have destroyed an estimated $8.7 million of Taliban narcotics during nighttime military operations in Khogyani district in Kandahar on Feb. 20.

Three Taliban along with 3,000 kilograms of morphine, 300 kg of heroin, and 60 kg of opium have been arrested, a statement from the NATO-led mission said.

From Feb. 20 to 22, Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF) carried out an offensive and defeated a large group of Taliban militants, attempting to create instability and insecurity in Bala Baluk district of Farah province, the statement added.

The Afghan special operators removed more than 70 Taliban fighters from the district through a combination of offensive, ground maneuver and US and Afghan airpower, the statement furthered.

On Feb. 24, Afghan commandos spearheaded a 209th Corps operation that eliminated Taliban insurgents from 125 square kilometers area in northern Balkh province. The Taliban continue to seek shelter and shield among the civilian population, which creates hurdles in smooth conduct of operation. However, military raids have to be continued.

Moreover, ASSF has eliminated a senior Taliban commander, Sher Zaman, during a nighttime raid on Feb. 28 in the Tagreb district of Kapisa province. Zaman operated in Kapisa, Parwan and Kabul provinces, planning attacks and facilitating the movement of explosive equipment,

The explosives were used to target Afghan soldiers, government officials, Resolute Support mission personnel, the diplomatic community and Afghan civilians, the statement claimed.

“The Afghan Special Forces are lethal,” said Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, at a press conference in Kabul on Feb. 24.

“Afghan security forces been fully in the lead for some time, and the task they have is challenging, but they’ve kept up the pressure on insurgents across the country. I think it’s clear that the Taliban cannot win on the battlefield.”

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