At least 160 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 100 others wounded so far during the military operations in Sangin district of southern Helmand, the Police Chief Col. Bacha Gul Bakhtiar said, talking of significant achievements over the past nine days.
Several villages have been cleared of Taliban since the start of the operations on Feb. 15, Bakhtiar said, adding that two police have been killed and 16 others wounded.
"Recently several Taliban insurgents gathered in a village in Sangin to make plans against the security forces, but we identified them and attacked them, in which 11 insurgents were killed and the others fled the area," he noted.
Showing their support for the security forces, Helmand representatives in Parliament emphasized on increased air strikes on insurgent shelters.
"We and the people of Helmand are behind our security forces and we support this operation," head of Helmand Provincial Council Mohammad Karim Atal said. "But we want our security forces to put every effort in, in order to avoid causalities to civilians."
According to the authorities, the operations would be expanded to the northern parts of the province in order to clear the areas of insurgents.
This has been the first independent anti-insurgent operation conducted by the security forces without any support of the foreign forces.
Since the formally-declared end of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have been carrying on the security responsibility of the entire country.