‘6,000 Taliban Killed in Past Month’: Govt

As intense fighting continues in the country, Afghan authorities on Tuesday said that over 6,000 Taliban fighters, including Pakistani nationals, have been killed in fighting with the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) over the past one month.

Ajmal Omar Shinwari, a spokesman for Afghan forces, on Tuesday said that another 3,400 Taliban fighters were wounded during this period. He said that the Afghan Chief of Army Staff is currently working on a plan that the government forces will use to recapture the territory lost to the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the commander of the Special Operations Corps said the unit’s activity has increased by 30 percent following the official start of the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country two months ago.

According to the Afghan government, over the past one month, 6,033 Taliban fighters were killed–among them 33 Pakistani nationals–and 3,485 Taliban fighters were wounded–among them 9 Pakistani nationals.

The Afghan government said the role of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) has been crucial in inflicting a major human toll on the Taliban during this period.

The Taliban, however, has rejected the claims by the Afghan government.

“Our entire force is staying in an emergency position, particularly the commandos and special operation forces,” said Ajmal Omar Shinwari, a spokesman for the ANDSF.

“In the planning and technical fields we confronted some challenges,” added Shinwari.

Afghan security officials said that during the past one month, the ANDSF air force carried out 491 attacks on Taliban positions.

“The Afghan Air Force conducted 491 airstrikes in the past one month, in which they targeted Taliban gatherings in Faryab, Baghlan, Helmand, Maidan Wardak, Nangarhar and Laghman provinces,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

The Afghan Air Force currently has 160 aircraft, 20 of which are Russian-made.

50 are Black Hawk helicopters, four are C130s, and 26 are Mi-17 helicopters.

“In the past, the need for airstrikes was around 20 to 30 percent, but in the past two months the percentage has increased to 70 to 80 percent,” said Abdul Fatah Eshaqzai, a commander of the Afghan Air Force.

The Afghan government has said that the US has pledged the delivery of another 45 helicopters and 7 e-29 helicopters to the Afghan army.

Currently, 25 helicopters are abroad for repair.