LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — About 24 militants, including an insurgents’ local military chief, were killed after Afghan army warplanes struck a Taliban hideout in restive southern province of Helmand, authorities said Friday.
“The Taliban military chief named Kako for Nad Ali district and 23 militants were killed following an airstrike conducted Thursday evening against a Taliban main headquarters in Gharbi 31, an area in Nad Ali, Helmand province,” the provincial government said in a statement.
The statement rejected claims by residents and some local officials earlier in the day that the targeted compound was a Taliban prison and that several people held by Taliban were also killed or injured by the attack.
“Reports that a Taliban prison had been targeted are not true. It is parts of the enemies’ propaganda,” the statement noted.
It said four militants were also wounded by the strike.
Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also a known Taliban stronghold.
The statement also said that a compound which has been used by Taliban militants for making Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and roadside bombs was also destroyed in Nad Ali by a separate air raid in the early hours of Friday.
The Taliban has yet to make comments.
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