Army commander, Taliban officials killed in Afghanistan

Afghan military says it has killed 'shadow governors' linked to Taliban administration

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Afghan forces are claiming to have killed at least 28 Taliban insurgents, including a provincial "shadow governor" in air attacks.

Air force raids in the eastern Kunar province late on Saturday local time, targeted Taliban hideouts around the Zower Brawel, Banshi Knadoo and Sawana villages of Dangam district.

“Taliban shadow provincial governor, Mohammad Omar Mokhlis, governor for Shegal district, Qari Osman and two senior commanders were among 28 insurgents killed by air strikes in Kunar province conducted overnight at 8 p.m. [local time],” according to the army’s East Corps Command on Sunday.

‘Shadow’ officials are a parallel administration set up by militants in Taliban-controlled regions.

Separately, an Afghan army colonel was killed in the central Ghor province on Saturday night after a Taliban mortar hit his vehicle. One soldier was also killed and four others were wounded in the incident.

“Battalion Commander Col. Shoaib Bakhshi was on his way to monitor an operation in Pasaband district where the Taliban has cut its rout connection with the provincial capital, Firoz Koh,” provincial governor spokesman, Abdul Hai Khatibi, told Anadolu agency.

On Sunday, governor for Ishkamish district, Abdul Hamid Haqjo along with district communication officer Juma Khan plus two bodyguards, were killed after their vehicle hit a landmine.

“Mr. Haqjo was visiting soldiers deployed on the frontline in his district when his vehicle hit a Taliban-planted landmine early Sunday morning,” Takhar governor, Abdul Latif Ibrahimi said.

“Unfortunately we lost one of Afghanistan’s patriots.”

Taliban militants have intensified their attacks in cities and on Afghan security forces’ outposts as part of their spring offensive which began in April.

Afghanistan has seen an upsurge in violence in 2015. The ministry of defense claims it is the Taliban’s attempt to gain leverage in peace talks with the government, which are expected to resume this summer.