The Afghan Security and Defense Forces have repelled multiple attacks by the Taliban in Gereshk district in the southern Helmand province in the past 12 hours, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement on Friday.
The first attack was carried out Thursday evening in Yakhchal area in Gereshk, the statement said, adding that the Taliban fighters had Humvees and car bombs with them.
The militants wanted to destroy a bridge in the district and create a hurdle to the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) pipeline project which would pass through Gereshk but their attack was repelled before reaching their target, the statement said.
A number of weapons were recovered from the militants and their Humvee was destroyed in the clash, the statement read.
Early on Friday morning at 4am local time, the Taliban stormed a money exchange market in the center of the Gereshk district but their attack was pushed back by the Afghan Commando Unit, the governor’s office said.
As of Friday afternoon, the statement said, two attackers were gunned down by security forces and two others are under their siege.
Another attempt by the Taliban was taken at around 11:30am local time when they wanted to attack a security belt with explosives-laden Humvee in Adam Khan area in the district, the statement said.
The governor’s office said the attack was repelled from air and ground by the Afghan forces and that the militants could not reach their target.
According to the statement, more than 40 Taliban fighters were killed in the past 12 hours during their multiple attempts to attack the district.
Meanwhile, Helmand governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak has said that at least five security force members were killed when a car bomb blast occurred close to their outpost in the district on Thursday evening.
A number of soldiers were wounded in the blast, he said.
A security source however says that at least 26 soldiers were killed in the explosion.