Afghan forces recapture Musa Qala from Taliban

More than 200 fighters killed in battle to retake strategic southern town

Afghan forces recapture Musa Qala from Taliban

World Bulletin / News Desk

Afghan security forces retook the strategically vital district of Musa Qala on Saturday night, three days after the Taliban seized the area, a local official said.

More than 200 insurgents were killed in an operation backed by air power, Mirza Khan Rahimi, the governor of Helmand province, told reporters in a news briefing on Sunday.

“Afghan security forces retook control of Musa Qala from terrorists… at least 220 Taliban were killed and many others have fled, leaving behind hundreds of weapons and a huge amount of ammunition,” he said.

Rahimi said at least 33 members of the security forces were killed or wounded during the operation.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross has ordered local carpenters to make 220 coffins to send to Musa Qala for Taliban bodies,” he added.

Government troops launched an operation supported by NATO jets on Thursday after the Taliban captured the town -- once a Taliban stronghold and a center of the opium trade until NATO forces took it in 2007 -- a day earlier.

The battle came amid an escalation in Taliban attacks all over Afghanistan.

“Taliban are not able to gain and control any district or province, they are looking to make news headlines,” Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman, said.

The Taliban has not commented on the claims.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ağustos 2015, 16:09