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Fresh troops deployed to Sangin: Minister

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AT-KABUL: Fresh security troops have been deployed to Sangin district of southern Helmand province, said acting Minister of Defense, Masoom Stankzai, on Wednesday.

He said that fighting was ongoing in Sangin district as fresh troops were deployed to the district.

Talking to a joint press conference with the Minister of Interior, Noor-ul-Haq Ulumi, Stankzai added that Afghan security forces needed foreign troops’ military support, particularly air support, to reduce casualties.

He said that Afghanistan had been fighting against some 23 militant groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda.

He said that some elements with their irresponsible remarks were trying to weaken morale of Afghan forces.

The acting minister added that fighting was ongoing in Sangin, Washer, Nad Ali, Marja and Lashkargah districts of the province.

He alleged that the militants fighting in Helmand were receiving support from regional countries.

“Except for Baramcha area and Baghran district of the province, the Taliban militants don’t have any district under their control,” he added.

Ulumi said that Afghan army and police are jointly fighting against the Taliban militants in Helmand and will soon defeat the militants. “Afghan army soldiers, policemen and operatives of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) are fighting to defeat militants,” he added. Ulumi assured of coordination among security forces in Helmand province.

According to reports, the police chief of Sangin district has told the governor of Helmand province to dig 200 graves for his officers.