170 Talibs dead as Afghan forces launch counteroffensive in Helmand

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Helmand [Afghanistan], October 12 (ANI/Sputnik): A total of 170 Taliban terrorists have been killed in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand after government forces moved to retake territories following the movement's days-long offensive in the region, the provincial police chief said on Monday.
On Saturday, the Taliban launched a series of attacks in Helmand's Nad-e-Ali district and Babaji area, pushing back Afghan security forces.
"Supply forces have arrived in Helmand and retaliatory strikes have been launched to retake areas recaptured from the Taliban. 170 Taliban terrorists have been killed and several others wounded in ground operations and airstrikes," Khalil Ul Rahman Jawad told reporters.
Amid heavy clashes in the area, locals have fled to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.
According to the Helmand Department for Refugee Affairs, "in the last two days, 4,500 people have been displaced from Babaji and Nad-e-Ali and are in need of first aid."
Along with the fall of some areas in Nad-e-Ali and Babaji area, the Taliban have also seized several sections of Helmand-Kandahar highway, hindering traffic.
Against this backdrop, US forces in Afghanistan have hit the Taliban with airstrikes to support Afghan forces.
"Over the past two days USFOR-A has conducted several targeted strikes in Helmand to defend ANDSF forces under attack by Taliban fighters, consistent with the U.S.-Taliban agreement. USFOR-A has & will continue to provide support in defense of the ANDSF under attack by the Taliban," USFOR-A spokesman Sonny Leggett wrote on Twitter.
The Resolute Support Mission commander, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, stressed that the Taliban offensive was not in line with the Doha agreement.
"The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country. It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks," he said.
The chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, has also denounced the violence, which came amid ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha. (ANI)