Taliban ‘governor’, 21 other militants killed in Afghan raid

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Kabul, April 19 (IANS) At least 22 militants, including Taliban’s “Governor” for Baghlan, were killed when Afghan security forces carried out an operation in this northern province, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

“On specific intelligence inputs, the army launched an operation in Dand-e-Ghuri district of Baghlan province on Tuesday night. Three others were held,” Xinhua news agency quoted a Defence Ministry statement as saying.

A dozen helicopters and US aircraft participated in the raid, Khaama Press reported.

Maulawi Helel alias Lal Mohammad was among the killed, the statement said.

The security forces seized one AK-47 and two rounds of pistol during the operation.

Baghlan as well as neighbouring Kunduz and Takhar provinces have been the scene of heavy clashes over the past couple of months as Taliban has been trying to challenge the government forces in the once relatively peaceful region.

According to sources, the operation was carried out when the Taliban was preparing for a big attack to overrun Baghlan.

–IANS

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