10 Taliban among 13 killed in Afghanistan
KABUL THIRTEEN persons, including as many as 10 members of Taliban, were killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan, according to an official release in Kabul on Saturday.
While as many as 10 Taliban members were killed and two others nabbed in the Helmand province, three employees of an Afghan construction company died on Saturday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the eastern part of the country, police said.
“Ten insurgents including two commanders were killed and two others arrested in the Marjah district on Friday when the militants attacked a poppy eradication campaign there,” Xinhua reported quoting a statement issued by the provincial administration.
Notorious for insurgency and growing poppy, Helmand has been regarded as the hotbed of Taliban militants in the southern region of Afghanistan. The Taliban are yet to comment on the report.
A member of an Al Qaedalinked group who helped finance attacks against Afghan and foreign forces has been captured in northern Afghanistan — the third such operative from the group detained or killed in the past two weeks, NATO officials said on Saturday.
Afghan and US-led coalition forces apprehended the unnamed militant with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) during a gun-battle on Friday in the Almar district of the Faryab province.
Faryab is a stronghold of the IMU, which is active in the north, but the province is otherwise relatively calm.
The IMU, which was formed in 1991, originally aimed to set up an Islamic state in Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan. Later it expanded its goal to seeking an Islamic state across Central Asia.
On March 26, a joint Afghan and coalition force in Faryab killed the group’s leader in Afghanistan, Makhdum Nusrat. The coalition said Nusrat had been leading attacks against Afghan and coalition troops in the north for the past eight months and was plotting the assassination of a member of parliament in Kabul.
Another IMU operative was captured on Friday in Kishim district of Badakhshan province. The coalition said the operative coordinated the preparation of suicide bomb vests and directed suicide attacks against Afghan officials and security forces in Kunduz, Badakhshan and Takhar provinces.
The construction company employees were travelling on a main highway between Khost and Paktia provinces when their four-wheel drive vehicle hit the bomb, said Youqib Khan, deputy police chief in Khost. He said a fourth employee of the company was injured in the blast in the Dowamandia district.