70 Taliban killed in Afghan forces raid
Published: 01:27 PM, 13 October 2020 Updated: 06:02 PM, 13 October 2020
At least 70 Taliban militants have been killed in a raid carried by the Afghan security forces in the Lashkar Gah city, southern Afghanistan.
Citing officials, News Agency Xinhua reported on Monday that several members of the government security forces and 70 Taliban members were killed during the ongoing clashes in the Lashkar Gah city.
Fighting resumed early Monday after scores of Taliban members launched a massive attack on security checkpoints in the surrounding area of the city, capital of Helmand province, a local source told Xinhua.
"The Taliban captured control of Police District 4 of the city, and they also overran the neighbouring Nad Ali district late on Sunday. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are involved in a counter-attack and sporadic fighting continued during Monday in the city," the source said.
At least 70 Taliban members were killed and several wounded during fighting and airstrikes were conducted by Afghan Air Force in and around the city in the past 24 hours, the source said.
Clashes erupted after hundreds of Taliban members armed with guns and propelled grenades arrived from northern Helmand districts and the neighbouring Kandahar and Farah provinces in recent days, Khalil Ul Rahman Jawad, the provincial police chief, told reporters earlier in the day.
Mawlawi Ghafoor, the Taliban's designated deputy governor for Helmand, was arrested during the fierce clashes on Sunday, according to the police chief.
The Taliban tried to take control of Lashkar Gah, but failed after the mastermind of the plan Mawlawi Ghafoor was arrested, he said.
The main road connecting national capital Kabul with southern and western provinces has also been blocked in the Helmand section since Sunday.
The police chief noted that the security forces made tactical retreat in parts of the city to avoid civilian and military casualties.
"Reinforcement forces arrived in Helmand from Kabul. The ANDSF will soon launch a major operation to kick out militants who captured areas inside and on outskirts of Lashkar Gah," he said.
Scores of families were displaced following the fighting. - Xinhua