5 Taliban killed and 13 wounded in airstrike

A Taliban group leader was among 13 newly released insurgents killed in an Afghan Air Force air raid in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Monday.

The airstrike happened in the Batikot district of the province, bordering Pakistan’s former tribal region of Khyber.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor told Pajhwok Afghan News 13 fighters including the Taliban group commander were killed in the raid.

He said the slain commander was recently released under a prisoner exchange between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

But the rebel movement claimed civilians had been killed in the Batikot raid that was conducted by foreign troops.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected rumors about Taliban attacks in Nangarhar. He insisted militants had no such intentions.

In a voice clip, Mujahid said the Taliban had no plans to conduct attacks in Nangarhar during the winter and claimed the raid in Batikot was conducted by foreign troops in violation of last year’s peace deal.

In other news, four policemen and a civilian were wounded in a Landmine blast targeting an Afghan Local Police (ALP) vehicle in Jalalabad.

Gulzada Sangar, spokesman for the Jalalabad Zonal Hospital, confirmed to Pajhwok Afghan News receiving the wounded.

Four security personnel and an auto-rickshaw driver were brought to their hospital, stable condition, he concluded.

Gulistan, a local resident, said the explosion happened when an ALP vehicle struck a landmine planted on a road.