By Shadi Khan Saif
Some 43 Taliban militants, including a top commander, have been killed in U.S. air raids in the northern Afghan province of Faryab bordering Uzbekistan, officials said on Sunday.
Gen. Janat Gul, a commander of the Afghan National Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps, told journalists that a convoy of over 300 security forces made up of members of a special commando force, soldiers, and policemen came under attack from the Taliban a day earlier in the Khwaja Sabz Posh area of the province.
Aerial support called in from U.S. forces hit the militants, killing 43 and leaving 20 others wounded, he said.
He added that the convoy was on its way from the 209 Corps’ headquarters in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif to the restive Almar, Kohistan, Sheren Tagab, Dawlat Abad, and Khwaja Sabz Posh areas to push back surging militants.
The U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) have not commented on the operation yet.
The once relatively peaceful northern parts of Afghanistan bordering central Asia are now witnessing a surge in violence involving both Taliban and pro-Daesh militants of Afghan, central Asian, Pakistani, Arab, and Chechen origin.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani last week told the Council on Foreign Relations in London that the Taliban have lost over 1,300 soldiers over the past month alone in raging clashes with security forces.
In fresh clashes at Khwaja Sabz Posh, the Taliban claimed to have destroyed 23 armored vehicles of the Afghan forces, and killed “scores” of security personnel.