By Zabihullah Tamanna
Afghan security forces have retaken Helmand province’s Khanshin district from Taliban militants, a top security official in Helmand confirmed Sunday.
The strategic district came under the control of the security forces Sunday morning after hours of clashes, Major-General Mohamed Moeen Faqir, a commander of the Maiwan Military Corps, told Anadolu Agency.
The Ministry of Interior likewise confirmed Khanshin’s recapture, but declined to elaborate further.
Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, a top security aide to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, said Khanshine was now under Afghan government control.
He added that security forces now planned to stage additional offensives with a view to capturing more territory.
The security situation in Helmand has deteriorated in the months since the Taliban launched several massive attacks on security forces in the area and captured key areas of the province.
Helmand’s Baghran, Dishu, Musa Kala and Nawzad districts are all currently under Taliban control, while the group seeks to take additional territory in the Gramser, Grishk and other districts.
The Afghan government said earlier that it was committed to holding peace talks but that it would continue its military buildup against the insurgents.
Foreign military advisors, for their part, have suggested that Afghan security forces adopt an offensive position in regards to the ongoing insurgency.
In a major breakthrough, the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) group recently entered the reconciliation process, formally announcing its intention to take part in planned peace talks.
The Taliban, however, have rejected Kabul’s calls for talks, laying out a raft of conditions for joining the peace process.
In a related incident, a U.S. drone strike on Sunday killed at least 11 Daesh militants in the eastern Nangarhar province’s Achin district.
Nangarhar police spokesperson Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal confirmed the incident, saying that foreign forces had targeted the insurgents in the Shinshobi locality.
Earlier, Kunar Police Chief Abdul Habib Syedkhel said that the families of some 85 Daesh rebels had recently arrived in the Sarkano district.
He went on to warn that the recent arrival of Daesh militants could fuel instability in the province.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.