Cleanup operation to flush out Taliban militants from Afghan city

Kabul, Oct 10 (IANS) A clean up operation was on in Afghanistan’s Kunduz city to sweep out Taliban militants and ensure lasting peace in the region, acting governor of Kunduz province Hamdullah Daneshi said on Saturday.

It was a tough operation but on the right track to sweep out Taliban militants, Xinhua news agency quoted Daneshi as saying.

“Since the armed insurgents have been hiding in civilians’ houses, the operation goes on gradually but firmly,” Daneshi said.

President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the troops to protect civilians during the crackdown on militants.

“The security forces are doing their best to protect the lives of civilians during house-to-house search,” the provincial leader said.

Taliban militants stormed into Kunduz city on September 28, but major parts of the city have been recaptured after security forces launched a counter-offensive last week.

However, fresh clashes erupted between security forces and Taliban insurgents on Friday.

Militants fired rounds of rockets from the outer sides of the city during the clash, which struck several houses. One rocket hit a petrol station, triggering a huge fire in the area, Daneshi said.

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