Afghan forces retake flashpoint district

Security forces recapture Helmand’s Khanshin district from Taliban, local officials say

Afghan forces retake flashpoint district

World Bulletin / News Desk

Afghan security forces have retaken Helmand province’s Khanshin district from Taliban militants, a top security official in Helmand confirmed Sunday. 

The strategic district came under the control of the security forces Sunday morning after hours of clashes, Major-General Mohamed Moeen Faqir, a commander of the Maiwan Military Corps, told Anadolu Agency.

The Ministry of Interior likewise confirmed Khanshin’s recapture, but declined to elaborate further. 

Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, a top security aide to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, said Khanshine was now under Afghan government control.

He added that security forces now planned to stage additional offensives with a view to capturing more territory. 

The security situation in Helmand has deteriorated in the months since the Taliban launched several massive attacks on security forces in the area and captured key areas of the province. 

Helmand’s Baghran, Dishu, Musa Kala and Nawzad districts are all currently under Taliban control, while the group seeks to take additional territory in the Gramser, Grishk and other districts. 

The Afghan government said earlier that it was committed to holding peace talks but that it would continue its military buildup against the insurgents.

Foreign military advisors, for their part, have suggested that Afghan security forces adopt an offensive position in regards to the ongoing insurgency. 

In a major breakthrough, the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) group recently entered the reconciliation process, formally announcing its intention to take part in planned peace talks. 

The Taliban, however, have rejected Kabul’s calls for talks, laying out a raft of conditions for joining the peace process. 

- Drone strike -

In a related incident, a U.S. drone strike on Sunday killed at least 11 ISIL militants in the eastern Nangarhar province’s Achin district.

Nangarhar police spokesperson Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal confirmed the incident, saying that foreign forces had targeted the insurgents in the Shinshobi locality. 

Earlier, Kunar Police Chief Abdul Habib Syedkhel said that the families of some 85 ISIL rebels had recently arrived in the Sarkano district. 

He went on to warn that the recent arrival of ISIL militants could fuel instability in the province.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2016, 09:10