News - Afghanistan
Gen. Murad Ali Murad, the deputy chief of army staff, said early Wednesday that Dashti-e-Archi district of northern Kunduz has been cleared of insurgents after they held the district for two years.
Murad said hundreds of insurgents were killed in the two-day operation and that Afghan security forces have been placed in all villages in the district.
"I can assure the residents of Kunduz and all people of Afghanistan that we have destroyed the main base of the insurgents in the district as we promised and all the insurgents have been eliminated," he said.
He said there were no civilian casualties during the operation and "according to our statics this operation was very useful and it was planned very professionally."
He added that security forces were now focusing on Darqad district of northern Takhar province – another area where insurgents have activities. He said a large-scale operation will be launched in that area in the near future.
However, security forces will remain in Dashti-e-Archi for a while, he said.
Local officials on Tuesday said that the Taliban deputy shadow governor of the area was among those killed.
Officials said however that the security forces had the support of the air force, which has carried out airstrikes on insurgents – especially their vehicles.
Dasht-e-Archi was a key base for the Taliban over the past few years and it was from there that they launched many attacks on Kunduz and other parts of north-eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban has not yet commented on the operation.