At least 106 Taliban fighters have been killed and another 37 injured over the last 24 hours in a counterattack by the security forces in Afghanistan's southwestern Helmand province in response to an ongoing large-scale attack by the insurgents since the weekend.
The counter attack by Afghan ground troops and air forces is underway in the outskirts of the capital city of Lashkargah, and the districts of Nahr-e-Saraj, Nawa and Garamsir, where hundreds of Taliban have clashed with the security forces.
"In the aftermath of the counter-attack, 106 Taliban fighters including their eight commanders were killed and 37 were injured in the past 24 hours," the Ministry of Defense said in a statement Tuesday.
Maulavi Kiramat, Taliban's commander responsible for Lashkargah operation, was also killed in the counterattack in which several hideouts and vehicles of the insurgents were destroyed, according to the statement.
The operation got a boost after hundreds of Afghan commandos arrived in Lashkargah city overnight and started attacks to regain control of the areas lost the militants the previous day.
Provincial Council chief Attaullah Afghan told EFE the threat to Lashkargah city still remained and the security forces needed to continue their clearance operations in the province.
Taliban spokesperson Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, in a statement, claimed that only of their fighters had been killed in the two days of fighting, during which they captured 28 checkposts of the security forces in Helmand.
Moreover, the Taliban claimed that 28 Afghan security forces had been killed in their offensives.
An provincial administrative official, who asked not to be named, told EFE that so far more than 1,000 families had been displaced from the areas affected by the fighting in the last 24 hours.
"We are trying to provide them with emergency assistance in this holy month of Ramadan," the official said.
Another 75 Taliban fighters have been killed in operations by security forces across six other provinces in response to offensives by the insurgents.
The Taliban have significantly ramped up attacks across the country immediately after the United States and NATO forces began the last phase of their pull out of the country on Sunday.