Afghanistan’s security forces have launched a massive offensive against Taliban militants in the eastern province of Kunar, killing 21 terrorists.
The operation which was launched on Monday came after a deadly school attack in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, which left 149 dead, including 133 children.
Kunar is regarded as a rear base for the Pakistani pro-Taliban militants who carried out the school massacre on December 16. The province has seen fierce clashes between local forces and the Afghan Taliban for the past 10 days.
“Afghan security forces have launched a joint anti-militant operation in several parts of Dangam district of Kunar province,” said Dawlat Waziri, the defense ministry deputy spokesman.
“So far in the operation, 21 armed insurgents have been killed and 33 others wounded,” Waziri said, noting that seven security personnel were also injured.
Kunar governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala said that over 1,500 Afghan Taliban militants have attacked the villages in Dangam.
Meanwhile, Pakistani pro-Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba militants are fighting Afghan security forces there.
During the Peshawar assault, a group of gunmen, reportedly dressed in military uniforms, stormed the Army Public School in the city, went from classroom to classroom, and shot students and teachers.
The militant group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the school attack, saying it was carried out in retaliation for an ongoing Pakistani military offensive against the militants in the country’s tribal belt, which began on June 15.
TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah is said to be hiding in Kunar province, which borders Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas.