KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) — About 23 Afghan civilians had been killed by militants during the military conflict in a restive district in the country’s southern province of Kandahar within two days, the provincial police chief said on Friday.
“Hundreds of militants stormed remote Nash district in an effort to capture the district control but the security forces repelled the attackers, leaving 29 militants dead,” General Abdul Raziq told Xinhua.
He said six police personnel were also killed and four policemen wounded during the clashes over the past two days.
“The Taliban sneaked into several houses in villages across the district and martyred 23 civilians in retaliatory attacks. Among the killed were two women and five children,” he said.
“A cleanup operation has been continuing in the district and the raid will continue before the district is cleared of the militants,” the police chief added.
The province is notorious for poppy growing and militancy.
The Taliban militants have escalated attacks and have been on the rampage since April when they launched an annual rebel offensive in different places in Afghanistan, killing and injuring hundreds.
More than 2,560 civilians were killed and over 5,830 injured in the first nine months of the year in conflict-related incidents across Afghanistan, according to the latest figures released by the UN mission in the country.
Ground engagements remained the largest cause of civilian casualties, followed by suicide attacks and improvised explosive device (IED) explosions.