KABUL: Over two dozen militants were killed in Afghanistan’s northern province of Badakhshan as the government forces have stepped up operations amid reports of the presence of foreign fighters in the relatively troubled province.
In the latest crackdown on the armed insurgents, the government forces pounded Taliban hideouts in Wardoj and Nasai districts, killing 27 fighters over the past 24 hours, said a statement from the Defense Ministry on Saturday.
According to the statement, 11 armed insurgents were killed in Wardoj district and 16 others perished in Nasai, a district close to Tajikistan’s border.
Nine more insurgents were wounded in both the districts, the statement asserted.
A main base of the Taliban, known as “Qari Basihudin Qarargah,” has been utterly smashed during the operations, according to the statement.
The operations on Taliban in Badakhshan with Faizabad as its capital, 315 km northeast of Kabul, have been intensified amid reports on the presence of foreign fighters in the Taliban rank.
Foreign militants including Uzbek and Chechens nationals have their shelters in the Taliban-held areas in Badakhshan province and have been fighting alongside the Taliban militants, governor of Badakhshan province Mohammad Zakria Sawda alleged Friday in talks with local media.
According to Sawda, the presence of foreign militants in the Taliban rank demonstrates the group’s association with terrorist groups. However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has rejected the report as fabricated, saying the Taliban has no relations with terrorist outfits.
The Kabul Times