Troops Closing In On Center Of Marjah: Officials

Marja21may16

Security forces have captured areas close to the center of Marjah district of southern Helmand province, said security officials.

They said that Afghan forces have made tangible gains against militants in the ‘Khanjar 13’ military operation.

Officials at 215th Maiwand military corps said that security forces have regained control of most areas of Marjah district from the Taliban.

They said that at least 15 Taliban militants have been killed in the fighting and that Afghan forces have moved 13 kilometers forward since the beginning of the operation.

“The operation was launched two days ago and as you see we are moving forward and we have good coordination. In this operation we are trying to avoid civilian casualties,” said Hanifullah Ahmadzai, an official at 215th Maiwand military corps.

Saida Jan, another official at the military corps, said that the main problem they are facing is that Taliban are using civilian houses as hideouts.

“Taliban have taken position inside civilians’ houses and have planted lots of landmines, despite this we are moving forward and have inflicted heavy casualties on the Taliban,” he added.

Security troops fighting on the front line in Marjah district said that the main challenge that they face are landmines planted by the Taliban.

“We have moved forward and we are trying to clear Marjah district of the Taliban and we will defend our country till the last drop of our blood,” said Ahmadullah, an army soldier.

“The main problem is that the Taliban have holed up inside civilian houses and they have planted landmines, that’s why the pace of our operation is slow,” said Siyar Ahmad, another soldier.

Security troops, who launched the Khanjar 13 military operation, have urged the Taliban to join the peace process or be eliminated.

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