Elite forces arrive in Afghan city to drive away Taliban
Kabul, Aug 4 (EFE).- Hundreds of special forces Wednesday arrived for a clearance operation against the Taliban in the Afghan city of Lashkargah, capital of the southern province of Helmand, a day after 40 civilians were killed in clashes between the security forces and the militants.
“Hundreds of Afghan special forces arrived in Lashkargah to join the city’s clearing operation. Wait for good news and suppression of the terrorists in Lashkargah,” army spokesperson Qader Bahadarzoy told EFE.
“If one terrorist came, one will be dead and if 1,000 came, 1,000 will be dead,” said Bahadarzoy, adding the operation would commence once all civilians were evacuated from the city.
In the last 24 hours, at least “75 Taliban terrorists were killed and 17 others wounded as a result of Afghan Air force airstrikes in Lashkargah city,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
On Tuesday, at least 40 civilians were killed and 118 injured in intense clashes between the insurgents and Afghan security forces in Lashkargah.
This led the army to call for the evacuation of civilians to start an operation by the elite forces against the militants.
The clashes in Lashkargah came amid an increase in violence by the insurgents, who – after the start of the withdrawal of foreign troops on May 1 – have taken control of some 125 district centers, their largest territorial gain in the last two decades of war.
The heavy fighting in recent days has also led to the exodus of thousands of civilians from their homes, many of them living in makeshift tents.
In Lashkargah alone, at least 35,000 people have been displaced. EFE