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Helmand odious: ‘Eleven security forces and 54 insurgents killed in Garmser district’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  The Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents have suffered causalities in the latest clashes in the southern Helmand province.

11 Afghan security forces and at least 54 Taliban insurgents were killed during a clash in the Garmser district of Helmand province, a provincial official said on Saturday.

A well-placed government official based in Helmand told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban conducted a coordinated attack on the district centre and police headquarters on Friday night.

In retaliatory gunfire, 54 insurgents were killed and many others wounded, the source said, confirming the killing of 11 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and wounding of seven others.

According to Helmand governor’s media office statement, the Afghan security forces have pushed back insurgents from Garmsir district.

Insurgents attacked district from a number of directions, but were repelled by the security forces, the statement said on Saturday.

“16 insurgents were killed and nine others received injuries in the attack,” the statement added.

However, Omar Zwak, the governor’s spokesman said that 15 Taliban fighters were killed and nine others wounded. Five ANA soldiers suffered injuries in the attack, he added.

Garmser district chief, Ayub Umar also confirmed the clash; however, he had no information about causalities. “The clash has ended now and the insurgents pushed back.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s spokesman Qair Mohammad Yusuf Ahmadi claimed that his fighters had seized two checkpoints, inflicting causalities on 20 security personnel. However, he said no word over Taliban’s causalities.

The attack comes as recently Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah visited Helmand province and instructed security officials to defeat Taliban militants before spring. Abdullah also met with provincial security officials and lauded their efforts in fight against insurgency.

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