JALALABAD, Afghanistan, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) — At least four civilians were killed and 27 wounded amid clashes between security forces and militants of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, said the provincial government on Friday.
The clashes erupted on early hours of Thursday after IS militants launched multiple attacks against joint checkpoints of security forces and government-backed local anti-IS fighters in Pass Pachir and Azikheel localities of Pachir Wagam district.
“The sporadic clashes have been continuing as of Friday noon in Pachir Wagam. Some 54 IS militants died following airstrikes in Azikheel area Friday morning. And 22 fighters of IS lost their lives during Thursday’s combat in Pass Pachir locality,” the provincial government said in a statement.
“Four innocent civilians had been killed and over 27 civilians injured since the clashes broke out. The IS militants set on fire 17 houses in the targeted villages,” the statement said, adding the number of causalities was likely to rise as clashes were continuing there.
Mohammad Hanif Gardiwall, acting provincial governor, has instructed the concerned authorities to provide best medical treatment for the injured, according to the statement.
Details about security force and government-backed local fighters’ casualties remained unknown.
Nangarhar province with Jalalabad city as its capital, 120 km east of Kabul, has been the scene of clashes between security forces and IS militants since the emergence of Afghan IS chapter in early 2015.
More than 2,560 civilians were killed and over 5,830 injured between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year in conflict-related incidents across Afghanistan, according to latest figures released by UN mission in the country.
Ground engagements remained the largest cause of civilian casualties, followed by suicide attacks and improvised explosive device (IED) explosions.