At least 70 Taliban commanders were killed in Helmand and Kandahar by Afghan forces in operations carried out in retaliation to the attacks started by the group more than a month ago. According to Kabul’s ministry of interior affairs, 152 pakistani fighters were also killed in the operations in the Helmand region.
The ministry released the list of commanders killed in the operations on Sunday, according to which 20 of them belonged to different parts of Helmand and were heading groups of 45 to 100 associates.
It said 10 of the commanders killed belonged to Uruzgan, Kandahar and Ghazni and had come to aid the fight in Helmand. Forty of the commanders were killed in the Kandahar region, as per the data of the ministry.
Interior ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian said 54 bodies of fighters were transported to Helmand, 65 across Durand Line, 35 to Farah province, 13 were taken to Zabul as well as 13 to Uruzgan province.
The Afghan forces also warded off Taliban attacks in Helmand, Kandahar and other provinces in the south through their active defense mechanism, the spokesperson said.
Though the strikes in parts of Kandahar, Helmand and south were ongoing, Arian said that the Taliban forces in the southern provinces have been defeated.
Chief of Army Staff Gen. Mohammad Yasin Zia led the southern war. The spokesperson added that the clashes that have been going on over a month have claimed the lives of 134 civilians and wounded 289 others in the last 25 days.
The Taliban has rubbished the government’s claims of casualties.