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Taliban suffered severe setback this year: MoD

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The Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Saturday said militants have accelerated anti-state activities this year but they faced a humiliating defeat after security forces conducted over 8,000 anti-insurgents operations in parts of the country.

Addressing a press conference, MoD operation director Maj. Gen. Mohammad Afzal Aman said security forces have passed hard phases but inflicted heavy casualties on rebels during the first three months of the current year.He said that 8,160 military operations had been launched this year to foil rebels’ plots nationwide this year.Militants continuously fought in four parts of the country that included Chaharsada district of Ghor province, some areas in Kunduz province, Yamgan, Khastak and Juram districts of Badakhshan province but were defeated by Afghan forces, he said.“Threats from militants this year were increased because they had big dangerous plans as compared to last year, but now we see that all their plans and aims have failed,” Aman claimed.He added that Nawa district of Ghazni province, Baghran and Disho districts of Helmand province and Khak Afghan district of Zabul province were currently under Taliban’s control. More areas were still under militants’ sways but key areas were purged of rebels, he added.“We have clear plans to fight insurgents. We also have a special plan for protection of people during the month of Ramadan, but we will continue fighting rebels if they continue their activities,” he said.Afghanistan’s Ulama Council has asked both Taliban and government to ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan.Deputy MoD spokesman Brig. Gen. Dawlat Mohammad Waziri said that militants should shun violence and join peace process. “Whenever militants come to a ceasefire, we also resort to truce welcome them,” he said.