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Afghan Army Retakes Key Southern District From Taliban

Afghan National Army soldiers attend a graduation ceremony in Herat.

Afghan security forces have recaptured a key district from the Taliban in the southern Kandahar Province in an operation that killed and wounded dozens of militants, the Ministry of Defense said on April 5.

Local officials also confirmed that the Arghandab district in the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kandahar City, was retaken from the militants on April 4.

The ministry said in a statement that at least 37 militants were killed and 28 more were wounded in the operation in Arghandab and nearby areas.

According to the statement, the security forces "seized 90 motorbikes" and also destroyed "large amounts of weapons" that belonged to the militants.

Officials said that civilians had also been harmed and some of them were forced to leave their homes during the clashes between the government forces and the militants. But they didn't provide further details on civilian casualties.

"Arghandab is a populous district. We used high precision to avoid harm to the people," Sarbuland, a commander of the special forces battalion in Kandahar, told Tolo News agency.

Another army commander, Nazar Ali, was quoted as saying that the Taliban left Arghandab, leaving behind "the bodies of dead militants, and vehicles."

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban.

Officials in Kandahar say the Taliban had planted mines along roads in Arghandab and it might delay the return of displaced people to their homes.

Based on reporting by Tolo News and Ariana News