Security sources in Balkh province said that nine Taliban fighters including Ajmal “Mashak”, the Taliban intelligence chief for the province were killed in an air raid.

Hanif Rezayi, a spokesman for the Military’s 209th Shaheen Corps said that Ajmal “Mashak”, the Taliban’s chief intelligence officer in the Balkh district, was killed in a targeted and retaliatory attack by the Afghan Air Force in Hussain khel village of Balkh district on Thursday evening.  

He added that further eight other Taliban fighters were also killed and five others were seriously harmed during the operation and some of their weapons were also destroyed.

According to Rezayi, “Mashak” was not only responsible for Taliban intelligence in Balkh, but was also involved in the assassinations of armed forces and government employees.

The Taliban intelligence chief played a pivotal role in the assassinations of two female officers and was involved in the Target killing of Dr. Saleh Samim, the Chief Physician of the 209th Shaheen Corps.

Mohammad Saleh, chief physician at 209 Shaheen Corps, and his driver were killed in unidentified gunmen attack in Balkh province on Monday morning last week.

The attack took place in Ferdawsi square in PD5 of Mazar-e-Sharif when gunmen opened fire on the doctor’s vehicle, reports indicate.

Mashak was pursued for several days by the government intelligence units before he was killed in an airstrike at around 4:20 pm local time on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior affairs stated that special police force members have arrested an Al-Qaeda operative in the outskirts of Rodat district in Nangarhar province.

The ministry in a released statement on Saturday said that the al-Qaeda operative was responsible for planning and organizing “terrorist” attacks in the province.

The statement also added, that two people were detained in connection with collaborating with Taliban militants in Kandahar province.

According to MoI, the detainees were caught in a special operation in PD13 of Kandahar province.

In the meantime, Taliban fighters have however denied links to al-Qaeda and claimed that no foreign fighters currently are fighting for the group.

But Afghan Republic government repeatedly blamed the Taliban for not severing ties with al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups based in Afghanistan, despite they have kept close ties with the global insurgency organizations.

It is worth mentioning that these claims were also backed by United State’s Defense and Financial Secretaries, it is separately reported that the Taliban have not cut ties with “terrorist groups” particularly al-Qaeda, instead, they have gathered for more reinforcements.

This comes as in another security incident MoD said at least 22 Taliban were killed and eight others are wounded in clashes between government security forces and the Taliban.

The clashes happened in the Qarabagh district of southern Ghazni province, ANDSF backed by air support has cleared the Bazaar area of the district from Taliban influence and is currently under government control.

Taliban have not yet commented on the operations conducted by the Afghan National Defense and Security force.

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