Afghan security forces killed hundreds of Taliban militants during a month-long military operation in the country’s east, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.wpid-Mass20Killings20in20Nanjing.jpg

“Some 261 insurgents, including foreigners, were killed and 147 others were injured in the fighting with the national security forces,” a ministry statement said.

The operation was launched after Taliban insurgents attacked Dangam district in the eastern province of Kunar in December, forcing the civilians to take up arms in an uprising against the Islamic movement.

The government took more that a week to deploy security forces to the area.

“The security forces launched the operation from all directions on the insurgents in the district,” the statement said.

The operation targeted Taliban fighters in Dangam, a district that borders Pakistan’s lawless tribal region from where the militants are said to enter the country to attack Afghan security forces.

Seventeen Afghan troops were killed and 45 others injured in the operation, the ministry said.

Military officials said that the fighters included members of the al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban, as well as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Badr militant groups.

The statement said that the insurgents aimed to take control of Dangam district before taking over the entire province.

The end of the operation coincided with President Ashraf Ghani’s introduction of his cabinet in the Afghan parliament.

“We need to bring 94 districts, which border with other countries, under the strategic control of the government in order to maintain peace and stability in Kabul and across the country,” he said during an address at the House of Representatives.

Afghan security forces took over full responsibility for the country’s security from January 1.

Violence surged in Afghanistan over the course of 2014, as the NATO-led alliance withdrew its combat troops and started a train-and-advise mission with around 13,000 foreign troops – mostly from the United States.

Also on Tuesday, eight members of a family were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan, an official said.

“The family was travelling from Kabul city to Ghazni when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb this morning, killing all the passengers,” said Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor for the eastern province of Ghazni.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

GNA

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