World Bulletin / News Desk
Afghan security forces have killed nearly 200 insurgentss over the last 24 hours -- including both Taliban and ISIL fighters -- in countrywide counter-insurgency operations, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
At least 66 other insurgentss were injured and eight were captured, while numerous vehicles, weapons and explosives were seized in operations carried out in 11 provinces, the ministry declared in a statement.
“At least 186 Taliban insurgentss were killed and 66 others wounded,” the statement read.
“Four dreaded Taliban commanders -- Mawlawi Qadeer, Mawlawi Bakhtiar, Mawlawi Mahmood and Mohebullah Nezami -- were among those killed, while six other commanders were seriously wounded,” it added.
The ministry went on to say that operations would be extended in coming days to other areas of the country deemed insecure.
The Defense Ministry also asserted that an Afghan artillery unit had killed 10 self-proclaimed ISIL fighters and wounded eight others in the eastern Nangarhar province.
“An army artillery unit targeted ISIL insurgents hideouts in the Abdul Khil area of the Achin district, killing 10 and wounding eight,” the ministry said.
During the same period, it added, at least 10 army troops had been killed and two others wounded as a result of direct fire and bomb explosions.
Taliban insurgentss, meanwhile, claimed to have have shot down two Afghan army helicopters in two different provinces on Monday, killing all people on board in both cases.
A helicopter and a fixed-wing army plane did reportedly crash in the central Bamyan and Logar provinces, leaving two dead and five injured.
The Afghan government, however, dismissed the insurgentss’ claim, saying both were the result of technical failures and not enemy action.
“[There was] no enemy involvement in the incident,” the government asserted.
Taliban insurgentss have stepped up their attacks on both Afghan and international forces as part of a spring offensive that kicked off in April.
On Monday, insurgentss staged a massive attack on Ghazni city, capital of Ghazni province, located some 150 kilometers southeast of capital Kabul, parts of which they reportedly captured along with some outlying districts.
The attack comes after Taliban insurgentss last month seized the northern city of Kunduz in brazen defiance of newly trained national security forces. Control of the city has since passed back and forth between the two sides, with Afghan forces currently trying to clear it of insurgentss.
Afghan national security forces assumed full responsibility for security from departing NATO and U.S.-led coalition troops on Jan. 1 of this year.
Their departure means that some 350,000 newly trained Afghan forces must now bear full responsibility for keeping the Taliban in check.
Afghanistan has seen unprecedented violence in 2015. Afghan security forces are widely expected to face challenges in the years ahead, as they will not have the direct support of foreign forces.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan on Dec. 31, 2014.
After Jan. 1, 2015, the scaled-down mission was devoted solely to training and advising the nascent Afghan security forces.
The 13,000 foreign troops that currently comprise the Resolute Support Mission are drawn from 28 NATO members and 14 partner nations.Last Mod: 14 Ekim 2015, 09:22