Afghan forces claim retaking Taliban’s key bastion

KABUL, Afghanistan

The Afghan forces on Wednesday claimed to have recaptured the Taliban’s long-held strategic bastion of Dand-e-Ghori in northern Afghanistan after killing scores of insurgents there.

The country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that dozens of Taliban fighters, including key regional commanders and shadow administrators, were killed in the ongoing operation in Baghlan province housing the restive Dand-e-Ghori area long held by the Taliban.

It also vowed to have captured more than 70 Taliban fighters besides confiscating large cache of arms and ammunition.

“The Ministry of Defense thanks the Baghlan people for their cooperation in this operation. This operation would continue till the whole province is completely cleared of the terrorists,” said the statement.

However, the Taliban have dubbed the Afghan forces’ a ‘failure’.

“Powerful IEDs hit combined US-hireling (Afghan) troops in Isa Khelo village of #Baghlan capital Puli Khumri resulting in multiple ‘invaders & hirelings’ killed/wounded & vehicles destroyed. Enemy ops (operation) in Puli Khumri are failed & enemy is unable to advance,” tweeted the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed.

Nearly 200 people, mostly Taliban insurgents, security forces and civilians were killed in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces last month amid ninth round of failed talks between the U.S. and Taliban.
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