JALALABAD (Pajhwok): A number of Taliban militants and civilians have suffered casualties during an operation in the Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Saturday.
Khogyani district chief, Haji Zalmai, told Pajhwok Afghan News special forces of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) launched the offensive to destroy two drug laboratories in Nokarkhel area on Friday night.
He said 11 people, including Taliban and civilians, suffered casualties during the operation that began at around 8pm.
Meanwhile, five people were killed and six others wounded during an airstrike, he said, adding two Taliban militants were arrested by Afghan forces.
Zalmai said civilians were among the casualties resulting from the operation, but he did not have specific figures.
Provincial police spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, confirmed the operation in Khogyani but said he was unaware of casualties.
A provincial council member and tribal elder from Khogyani, Ajmal Omar, said five militants were killed and eight civilians injured in the operation.
Afghan Special Forces conducted the raid to destroy drug labs, but Taliban feared they were the target. As a result, they opened fire on security forces, he said.
Israrullah, a resident of the area, said 15 civilians were injured and five Taliban militants killed in the clash.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said all the people killed and wounded in the operation were civilians.
A week back, several civilians suffered casualties in a similar operation in the Sherzad district of Nangarhar province.