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Helmand offensive; 32 insurgents killed, 49 wounded

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents have continued for the last three days in Sangin district of Helmand province, in which 32 insurgents were killed and 49 others wounded, security official said. Three Afghan National Army were also killed in the attack.

Clash erupted on Monday morning when the Taliban insurgents blew up tank, filled of explosive materials and hit out security posts in some parts of Sangin district.

Col. Mohammad Rassoul Zazi, 215 Maiwand Military Corps spokesman in Helmand, told Pajhwok Afghan News, “Security forces had repulsed Taliban attack in Sangin.”

Moreover, Afghan air force has destroyed five camps of Taliban while 30 land mines were defused, he added.

Spokesperson of provincial governor, Omer Zwak, confirmed that fight was continued in Sangin, saying that more troops of ANA were deployed in the district, aimed at blowing up all insurgents and restore writ of the government. However, he did not give actual figure of casualties sustained on both sides.

Deputy Head of the Provincial Council, Abdul Majid Akhunzada, told Pajhwok that “Security forces had advanced a little in last night’s fighting and Taliban have turned people’s houses and shops into bastions from where they fired toward security forces.”

Akhunzada emphasized on strong security measures for the troubled district of Helmand and said that people face living in uncertainty.

However, Taliban’s spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi told to local media that the clashes in Sangin continued for a third day on Wednesday, with more than a hundred security personnel suffering casualties. Ahmadi claimed the fighters were in control of 25 check-points.

On Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah visited Lashkargah, the provincial capital, and examined the security situation in the province. He directed security forces to defeat the Taliban before the arrival of spring.

Helmand has 13 districts and Taliban militants are attempting to strengthen its position six districts.