GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Nearly 2,250 people, including civilians, have suffered casualties in southern Ghazni province since the beginning of the ongoing year, says the governor.
Wahidullah Kalimzai, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, said the casualties sustained by Taliban insurgents in security operations were higher than last year..
He said at least 1,600 insurgents — mostly foreigners — were killed. At least 70 group commanders were among the dead.
Another 267 rebels were wounded and 34 captured alive this year, according to Kalimzai, who said Deh Yak, Khwaja Omari and Jaghato districts were recaptured from the Taliban.
At least 63 security forces and 72 civilians were killed and 60 security personnel and 187 common people wounded, the governor explained.
“We plan to continue conducting operations against the militants in order to maintain security,” he said.
Syed Abdullah, a resident of Ghazni City, said deaths of around 2,000 civilians were not an ordinary issue. The fact that the victims were Afghan citizens should be kept in mind, he added.
“The killing of civilians should be stopped and the government as well as Taliban must work seriously for peace,” he said. Other residents held a similar view.
On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the security personnel had suffered more casualties than the fighters.
“Our casualties were lower than the security personnel this year in Ghazni,” Mujahid insisted, without giving specific figures.