Operation Zulfikar’ in Helmand hailed as success

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The provincial council on Monday hailed the ongoing “Operation Zulfikar” in southern Helmand province as a success and well-planned.
The operation that was launched about a week ago in Sangin district has been extended to the Khanashin town.
Local officials say the provincial capital, Lashkargah, Nad Ali, Marja and Nawa districts have been cleared of insurgents as a result of the offensive.
A number of provincial council members called the latest operation as successful because of no civilian casualties so far.
The council’s deputy head, Ibadullah Alizai, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had visited Sangin’s Tarkha Nawar area, where residents said they were happy with the operation.
He said the public representatives were in contact with local residents and there had been no civilian casualties in the operation so far.
Alizai said security forces maintained close coordination during the operation, which he said was underway as planned.
Helmand Security Council chief Bashir Ahmad Shakir said the ongoing operation had so far been without any shortcomings.
He said Helmand police were not in the lead, but still some people had visited Kabul to lodge false complaints against the police. However, Shakir did not elaborate.
He said so far no civilian had got hurt in the operation and the individuals who visited Kabul wanted to sabotage the operation.
Shakir said rumours of civilian casualties were always circulated when the Taliban faced defeat on the battlefield.
But Wolesi Jirga member from Helmand, Abdul Hai Akhunzada, who is deputy head of the house commission on interior security, said the Operation Zulfikar was not successful as it should have been.
Prior to the launch of the operation, he said, there had been widespread propagation that led insurgents into hiding.
The lawmaker said the scope of the operation should be widened and security posts should be established in areas cleared of militants.
Security officials say 159 insurgents have been killed and 93 others wounded as a result of the previous and the ongoing operations in Helmand. Police say so far 20 security personnel and two civilians have suffered casualties.


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