Hundreds of militants killed in military operation in Herat, Afghanistan
About 9,800 US troops are in Afghanistan. But the top US commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John F. Campbell, has given the administration several options to reduce this number over the next 15 months. (AFP/File)
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A hundred militants have been killed and 110 others wounded during an operation in the Shindand district of western Herat province, local officials claimed on Wednesday.
The first phase of the operation -- codenamed 'Azm' -- ended Tuesday night after a week of its launch, the governor's spokesman, Jilani Farhad, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said the district was currently under the control of security forces. The second phase of the operation would completely clear the district of the insurgents, he hoped.
At least 100 militants, including several commanders, were killed and 110 others injured during the first phase. Two Taliban commanders were detained, 20 vehicles, 31 motorcycles and some military equipment of rebels were destroyed.
Governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi had travelled to the district for assessing the security situation there, his spokesman added.
He did not provide information about Afghan forces' casualties, but a number of security personnel are said to have been killed or wounded during the offensive.
The Taliban confirmed clashes in Shindand in a statement on their website, saying they destroyed a military tank on Tuesday. However, the group did not comment on casualties.
A resident of the area, Nasir Ahmad, said: "Fighting between the Taliban and security forces has been ongoing since last Saturday. The situation is better today and shopkeepers have opened their shops."
Aziz Ahmad, another shopkeeper, said Afghan forces were fighting against Mullah Samad's fighters in mountainous areas of the restive district.
The militants and security forces have fought several battles over the past few months in Shindand district, located 125 kilometers north of Herat City.
By Storai Karimi
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