Afghan security forces on Saturday claimed killing nearly 300 Taliban insurgents, including the group’s shadow governor for the northern Faryab province bordering Turkmenistan, in fresh counter-terrorism operations.
The 209 Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army said in a statement that 286 Taliban fighters were killed and 219 more wounded in operations in Faryab. Four restive districts of the province — Andkhoy, Khaja Sabz Posh, Qaisar, and Almaar — have been cleared of insurgents, it added.
Abdul Kareem, a spokesman for the Faryab police command, told Anadolu Agency that Wakil Ahmad, a notorious Taliban commander known as Mullah Nazim and serving as shadow governor for the group, was also among the casualties.
The Taliban, however, rejected the claim, with a spokesman saying the reports were “baseless.”
“We reject this propaganda … The Islamic Emirate’s governor for Faryab is healthy and is busy with his ‘Jihad’ related tasks,” Qari Yosuf Ahmadi said in a statement.
This came days before the Taliban and Afghan government representatives are set to resume intra-Afghan talks on Jan. 5 in the Qatari capital Doha.
The talks are aimed at ending the nearly two-decade-long conflict, following a landmark peace deal between the US and the Taliban inked last February that calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan.
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