Nearly 100 militants killed in Afghanistan’s besieged city of Lashkargah
Kabul, Aug 6 (EFE).- The Afghan Army Friday claimed to have killed 94 militants, including a Taliban regional commander, in the besieged Lashkargah city of southern Afghanistan.
The army unit, which is leading the battle against the Taliban in Helmand, tweeted that Taliban commander Mawlawi Mubarak was among 94 terrorists shot down by the Afghan forces in the capital of southern Helmand province.
The military said the militants killed in the past 24 hours included Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.
The Afghan Defense Ministry, in its daily report, detailed that the Taliban commander died during aerial strikes by the air force on the outskirts of Lashkargah.
The ministry claimed that the airstrikes also destroyed “a large quantity of weapons and ammunition” belonging to militants.
The counterattack in the key southern city against the insurgents, who have stepped up their efforts to capture urban centers, began late Wednesday.
Hundreds of elite Afghan forces are taking part in the operation. The Afghan air force is supporting the offensive and is bombing Taliban hideouts and positions.
Lashkargah has witnessed intense clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban after the insurgents besieged the city as part of their rapid advance in recent months.
The Taliban have captured more than 125 district centers, their unprecedented territorial gain in the last two decades of war, after the start of the withdrawal of foreign troops on May 1.
The Afghan Army, with the specific support of the US air force, is fighting to regain the lost territory, with clashes in at least 17 of the 34 Afghan provinces.
The gunfights left 406 insurgents dead and 209 wounded in the last 24 hours, the Defense Ministry said.
The heavy fighting in recent days has also triggered the exodus of thousands of civilians from their homes, many of them living in makeshift tents.
Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Lashkargah alone.
In the past two weeks, some 100,000 civilians registered as displaced in Afghanistan due to intense battles across the country. EFE