Afghan government officials on Wednesday claimed to have killed five fighters – including two Pakistani nationals – and capturing a Taliban stronghold.
"Four armed enemies, including two Pakistanis, were killed in the raid," Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of the central Wardak province, told Anadolu Agency.
"They were fighting under the command of Mullah Hikmat, a famous Taliban commander in the area," he added.
Khogyani said that units of the Afghan National Army had carried out the operation in the Shah-e-Kabul area of Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak.
A fifth Taliban fighter was also killed the same night in Maidan Shahr, also in Wardak.
A Turkish Provincial Reconstruction Team under the NATO mission, which had been based in Maidan Shahr for almost seven years, left the area a week ago.
Meanwhile, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan claimed that the Afghan National Army Special Forces had forced insurgents to flee Abestan village in Herat province's Shindand district.
Afghan commandos from the fourth special operations division were patrolling in Abestan village when several Taliban gunmen opened fire, it said in a statement.
The commandos returned fire, forcing some 30 Taliban fighters to retreat into the nearby Zerakoh Valley, it added.
No civilian or Afghan security personnel were killed or injured in the clash.
The statement said troops had beefed up their presence in the village after the August 12 bombing of a local school.
The western Herat province, located on the border with Iran, lies adjacent to the violent Farah and Nimroz provinces, where the Taliban can easily sneak into Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan or flee if they come under pressure.
But Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, denied both reports.
"None of our Mujahideen fighters have left any areas of the Shindand district of Herat province, nor been killed in Wardak," he told AA.
He described both reports as part of a "propaganda war."
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ağustos 2013, 16:55