Afghan Army Says 200 Taliban, ISIL Gunmen Killed within 24h
Afghan security forces have killed nearly 200 insurgents over the last 24 hours — including militants of both Taliban and the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group — in countrywide counter-insurgency operations, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
At least 66 other insurgents 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 insurgents 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 ISIL gunmen 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 insurgents, meanwhile, claimed to 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 insurgents’ 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 insurgents have stepped up their attacks on both Afghan and international forces as part of a spring offensive that kicked off in April.