July 3 (UPI) — At least 42 Taliban militants were killed in attacks by government forces in Afghanistan‘s Helmand province, the country’s Interior Ministry said.
The provincial government in Lashkargah said the raids were conducted Sunday in Helmand’s Nawa district.
Police spokesman Abdul Salam told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that another 27 Taliban soldiers were injured in the attacks, adding, “Our aim is to retake all lost territory, and eliminate threats posed to the provincial capital.”
The U.S. agency Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction estimates that the Taliban controls about 11 percent of Afghan territory. The national government holds about 60 percent of the country, while the rest remains contested.
“Haji Ahmad, Faizi and Haqbeen, three Taliban commanders, are among the dead,” a ministry statement said in regard to the military action in Helmand province. It added that vast areas of Helmand district were cleared of Taliban influence.
Local police worked with coalition forces and the Afghan army and intelligence sectors to conduct attacks across Afghanistan in a one-day assault on Sunday. At least 37 more Taliban members were arrested, and weapons and ammunition were seized, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press reported.