Government officials say that at least seventeen Taliban militants killed in a series of heavy explosions followed by sporadic gunshots in Kandahar City on Monday..
Kandahar Governor Toryalai Weesa told reporters the group attacks by Taliban started rocking different parts of the city at 2pm when a bomb-rigged motorbike went off in the Khwajak Baba neighbourhood.
Taliban also announced that heavy fighting continued in various areas of Kandahar city initiated by Taliban amid operation AL-Farooq.
At least 30 people were wounded in the daring assaults. Three militant bombers were riding the bike that exploded, police said, adding the blast also killed three children and injured six other civilians.
The operation was launched at around 02:00 pm on Monday when a car bomb was initially set-off near the police headquarters, completely bringing down the defensive wall followed by Taliban fighters storming in and initiating attacks on soldiers.
An hour later, a second explosion took place in front of the police headquarters, the governor said. Around the same time, group attacks were carried out in three other parts of the city --- Kaka Syed Ahmad High School, Shahidan Square, Noor Market and Mumtaz Hotel.
Clashes between the attackers and security forces lasted two hours and as a result, 17 Taliban fighters and three policemen were killed. Another 18 policemen and six civilians were injured.
Taliban said that while the headquarters was under siege, more government troops which tried to go for reinforcement were engaged by Taliban attacked them in Ciftan Madad and Shahidano intersections, triggering a half an hour clash in which the government troops was beaten back after suffering deadly losses while Taliban seized sizeable amount of weapons from them.
Meanwhile armed attack were also carried out on the reinforcements in Hazrat Ji Baba’s Yakhoja area, Kabul Back market and Faqir Baba areas whereas 5 explosions were also detonated on government forces, three of which near or inside the police headquarters.
2 army logistical vehicles were also shot and destroyed near Qadri Sria of the city, 2 tanks and 2 SUV’s on the way to the police headquarters and another SUV near Kabul Bank market which left 5 puppets dead,Taliban said.
Kandahar governor Toryalai Weesa said two of the injured were in critical condition. He claimed police had arrested some foreigners during search operations after the attacks that caused damage to several government buildings.
Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed that a number of Afghan and foreign troops were killed in attacks which were conducted in Kandahar City on Monday.
NATO-led forces besieged the city and had launched an investigation. Earlier, the governor’s spokesman Javed Faisal said five injured people were evacuated to hospital from areas around the police headquarters.
But a source in the Mirwais Hospital revealed 33 injured people had been received from the attack scenes. Some of them are said to be in critical condition.
Later Taliban announced that their fighters at the last moment of the operation were telling through telephone contact that all of them are so far unharmed and are hoping to extend the fighting into the night and enemy helicopters are hovering overhead, firing blindly into the areas they have stationed..
Taliban statement shows that their all fighters were alive till the last moment of the operation and might have been killed by NATO helicopters’.