Special units of the Afghan national army on Tuesday targeted local militants and their foreign associates and stormed several of their hide outs in various areas of Ali Abad district of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan.
A number of insurgents were killed and hideouts destroyed. The insurgents were reportedly using the hideouts to plan their summer offensive. ANA commanders have battled the militants on the ground for months and have said the counterinsurgency operation launched from the air and ground was aimed at destroying militants' hideouts and gatherings where they were plotting to wage war against the security forces in summer. Army commanders however said that the presence of Punjabi, Chechens and Arab militants on the battlefield who are also backed by snipers were slowing down the operation. They said that Omarkhail and Angor Bagh villages of Ali Abad were still under the Taliban siege, a threat which forced the Afghan security forces to attack them from air and ground. Taliban as part of their ongoing tactics have deployed several snipers in some key areas and planted landmines to slow the advance of the security forces. Reports from the warfront have revealed that the insurgents resisted only for 30 minutes and fled the scene after facing strong retaliation from the security forces. "We have reached those areas which Taliban had activity and they escaped now. But we will follow them to other parts," acting head of the Kunduz military corps, Hamid Saifi said. The insurgents also sustained a heavy casualty toll and at least 50 of them were wounded during a 20 hour operation, which brought the strategic locations under the control of the Afghan army units.