More than 120 militants killed in fresh raids: Afghan gov't
KABUL, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Some 121 Taliban militants have been killed while nine others detained in fresh military operations across Afghanistan, the country's Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
"In past 24 hours, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) conducted several operations in Nangarhar, Takhar, Kunduz, Sari Pul, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Herat, Farah and Helmand provinces. As a result 121 armed Taliban members were killed, one wounded and nine others arrested by the ANSF," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates.
About 23 foreign fighters were among the killed, the statement said, adding "the Taliban suffered the heaviest casualty in Khak Afghan district of Zabul province."
The ANSF also seized weapons and defused three roadside bombs planted by the militants over the same period, the statement said, without mentioning if there were any casualties on the side of the government security forces.
Afghan security forces have assumed the full security charges from NATO and U.S. forces after the NATO-led troops switched from combat to support role since Jan. 1 this year.
The Taliban insurgent group, which has been waging an insurgency of more than one decade, has yet to make comments.
Military Operation ongoing for releasing 30 abducted passengers
Khaama Press / March 4, 2015
The military operation that began on Monday night in Khak-i-Afghan District of southern Zabul province for releasing the 30 abducted passengers is still ongoing.
Mohammad Sarwar Danish, 2nd vice president of Afghanistan says that over 100 members of the group that is responsible for kidnapping the 30 passengers have been killed in the operation so far.
According to the 2nd vice president, Mullah Himat Manan who had led the terrorist operation of kidnapping the 30 passengers in Shah Joy District of Zabul province is among the ones killed.
2nd vice president has written on his facebook page that Mullah Himat Manan has killed himself through blasting his own explosives.
Mohammad Sarwar Danish states that security forces also have the air support in the operation.
Danish further states that a decision has been made that security forces can use any mean to release the 30 passengers in Khak-i-Afghan District.
The kidnapping took place in Shah Joy District of Zabul province, located on Kabul-Kandahar high way, but the kidnappers are believed to have moved the passengers to Khak-i-Afghan District.
The 30 passengers were traveling in two buses on Kabul-Kandahar highway when unidentified gunmen who had their faces covered stopped them and abducted them on gunpoint.
As per the Afghan culture, local elders tried to negotiate the release with the abductors but it did not give any result.
HRW Calls For Prosecution Of Afghan Officials,
Commanders Guilty Of Rights Abuse
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
March 3, 2015
Human Rights Watch has released a report that calls on new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his government to prosecute officials and commanders "whose serious human rights abuses have long gone unpunished."
The report, released March 3 and titled Today We Shall All Die: Afghanistan's Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity, said the "previous Afghan government and the United States enabled powerful and abusive individuals and their forces to commit atrocities for too long with being held to account."
The report profiles eight "strongmen" linked to police, intelligence, and militia forces responsible for serious abuses in recent years.
The eight men named were Hazara leader Abdul Hakim Shojoyi, former Takhar police chief Khair Mohammad Timur, Commander Azizullah from the Urgun district in Paktika Province, Atta Mohammad Noor, a commander in northern Afghanistan, Najibullah Kapisa, the National Directorate of Security chief for Takhar Province, Mir Alam, a former senior commander with the Jamiat party, Asadullah Khalid, the former head of the National Security Directorate, and General Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar provincial police commander.
The report is based on 125 interviews HRW has carried out since August 2012.
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