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20 militants killed as Afghan forces target Taliban base in N. Kunduz province
Last Updated: 2017-09-05 15:56 | Xinhua
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At least 20 insurgents were killed after Afghan security forces launched cleanup operations against a Taliban bastion in Chardara district of the northern Kunduz province to stabilize the restive province.

Chardara district, which has been regarded as the main base of Taliban militants in the restive Kunduz province, is strategically important for the armed group, locals said.

According to the locals, if the government forces were able to evict militants from the district, the militants will be easily wiped out from the neighboring Dasht-e-Archi and Qala-e-Zal districts.

Government forces in latest crackdown against Taliban in Chardara district have killed 20 insurgents since early Tuesday and the operations have been continuing, according to a local official.

"Acting upon intelligence report, the unit of Special Forces targeted a Taliban hideout in Sajani Payan locality in Chardara district early Tuesday, killing 20 rebels on the spot," district governor Zalmai Farooqi told Xinhua.

Some of those killed in the raid were foreign nationals, the official said without identifying their nationalities.

"Chardara district is very important for the Taliban militants because it gives the militants easy access to the neighboring Baghlan and Samangan provinces," local analyst Rahmatullah told Xinhua.

He also opined that if the government forces were able to evict militants from Chardara, the Taliban will lose more territory not only in Kunduz but also in the neighboring Baghlan and even in Samangan provinces.

More than 40 militants have been killed in Chardara district over the past three days, according to local officials, and the ground operations backed by air power have been ongoing.

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