Green light given to coal transportation in Samangan


AIBAK (PAN): Authorities in northern Samangan province on Tuesday gave a green light to the transportation of coal from a mine in Darra-i-SaufPayan district after a counterinsurgency operation.

Eleven militants, including a commander, were killed in the offensive that began March 11, deputy police chief, Lt. Col. MussadiqullahMuzafari, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The operation, which was concluded on Tuesday, involved Afghan police backed by foreign troops, he said, adding the dead included a Taliban commander, Noor Mohammad, and a bomb expert, Bilal. Another four militants were injured.

Areas including DarahJamalak and its nearby villages -- BaghakDaikundiAhangran, Taqchi, Baba Nazari, Bayanat and Surkhi -- were targeted in the operation, the police official said. Up to 25 antipersonnel and anti-vehicle mines and a rocket launcher were recovered.

Security officials said the district was under control and four checkpoints were set up to provide security for trucks taking coal from the district to Kabul.

Truckers had accused the Taliban of charging 1,000 afghanis ($21.9) per truck or took two to three sacks of coal as bribe.

The acting district chief, Abdullah, said police ambushed and killed a Taliban commander named Khair Mohammad Muslimyar on Monday night and arrested another Taliban fighter.

A few militants fleeing to the DarahSaufmountains were being pursued by security forces, he said.

However, a Taliban spokesman, ZabihullahMujahid, claimed their fighters killed five policemen and wounded several others in an attack in Surkhi area of the district on Monday night. Mujahid confirmed the death of only one Taliban in the clash that lasted one hour.


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