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Afghan security forces reclaim Yamgan district after killing 120 Taliban militants

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Kabul: The Afghan security forces killed at least 120 Taliban militants and regained control of the strategically important Yamgan district in Badakhshan province after days of heavy fighting, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

“Following several days of joint operations of police, army and national directorate for security, Yamgan district was recaptured today and the enemies after suffering huge casualties fled the area,” Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

A number of Taliban key commanders, including Mullah Rustam, Mullah Hashim Kolabi and Mullah Shukrullah, were among those killed during the operations, according to the statement.

Some foreign fighters were among those killed in the clash for Yemgan district, it added.

Yamgan district was captured by Taliban militants two weeks ago, forcing the government forces to retreat.

Earlier, Badakhshan police chief General Baba Jan said that the security forces entered Yamgan district at 8:30 a.m. and a cleanup operation was ongoing in the area.

Although Taliban did not acknowledge losing ground in Yamgan district, the armed militant group in a statement claimed that they captured Chardara district in Kunduz province on Saturday night after several hours of heavy fighting with government forces.

The provincial capital city of Kunduz and even the neighbouring Baghlan province would be threatened if Taliban insurgents were able to strengthen their grip in Chardara district, according to political observers.

“Our security forces launched counter-offensive early Sunday to free Chardara district from the clutch of Taliban rebels,” said army spokesperson Major Ghulam Hazrat.

Taliban militants have intensified activities since their spring offensive on April 24 and have conducted series of attacks in various parts of the country, leaving hundreds of people, including militants, security personnel and civilians, dead. (IANS)

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The Son Of The Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi Dies: IS

Al-Baghdadi's fate is still unknown

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This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son.
This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son. VOA

The son of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died in a suicide attack mission in the city of Homs in western Syria, according to the IS media al-Nashir News.

Posting the photograph of a young boy, purportedly Hudhayfah al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s son, the outlet said he lost his life in an operation against the Russian forces deployed in Homs and the Syrian government forces, referred to as Nusayriyyah by IS.

“Hudhayfah al-Badri (may Allah accept him), the son of the Caliph (may Allah safeguard him), was killed in an inghimasi [suicide] operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs Willayah,” the news outlet reported.

Inghimasi refers to suicide operations in which a fighter, clad with explosive belt and armed with regular weapons, attacks an enemy position before detonating himself to inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible.

The U.S. military said it has seen the reports of al-Badri’s death but declined any confirmation.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an attack on forces outside the Coalition. We have nothing more to provide,” U.S. Central Command told VOA.

An Iraqi national, al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, announced the Islamic State caliphate in the city of Mosul in June 2014 and made himself its caliph. The leader has since become the world’s most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

Al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, with various reports claiming his death and injury several times, including a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that he might have been hit by a Russian airstrike in 2017.

Those claims have been rejected by U.S. officials and the whereabouts of the elusive leader remain unknown.

Al-Baghdadi’s infamous role in IS has put a spotlight on his family. In March 2014, al-Baghdadi’s wife, Sujidah al-Dulaimi, was released, along with her two sons and daughter, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front militants.

Also read: Will the Latest Message From Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Provoke New Attacks in the West?

It was reported that only the girl was al-Baghdadi’s daughter. The two boys belonged to a man his wife had married before meeting al-Baghdadi. (IANS)