Afghanistan sends special battalion to combat Daesh, Taliban
Afghan militiamen in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province. (AFP/File)
Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai on Wednesday said a reserve battalion had been established within the 201st Military Corps to subdue Daesh and Taliban activities in eastern Afghanistan.
The acting minister, who visited the eastern zone, told the inauguration ceremony of the battalion that 750 soldiers from Nangarhar province were part of the unit which he said would prove useful in suppressing militants in the east.
To a question if the battalion was only aimed to beat Daesh, he said “our soldiers will target groups whether they are Daesh or Taliban who want to endanger our nation.” He said defeating Daesh was the government’s priority because people were fed up with their atrocities.
Stanikzai told the soldiers their recruitment would help stabilise security in Nangarhar. Pointing to Daesh, he said the outfit did not want Afghanistan to be developed, but Afghan forces would drive them from Afghan villages.
“Whenever our country reaches the state of being rehabilitated, the enemies try to prevent it. The Afghan civilians have been suffering from clashes of Taliban, Daesh and Lashkar-e-Taiba, but we will repel them,” he said.
The minister said investment had been carried out to strengthen radar system in the country and that ground and air operations against Daesh fighters in Achin district would continue.
Nangarhar Governor Saleem Khan Kunduzi said Daesh fighters had sustained heavy casualties in airstrikes over the past two weeks in Achin and nearby districts.
“The airstrikes targeted Daesh hideouts and our soldiers have been chasing the enemy. The territory would become a graveyard for the enemy, Insha Allah,” he said.
Laghman Governor Abdul Jabar Naemi called the Taliban "foreign slaves used to kill Afghans."
Stanikzai also conferred bravery medals on some 201st Selab military officers.
By Zaeerak Fahim
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