Senior Taliban Leader Killed in Raid in Eastern Afghanistan - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Afghan forces killed five militants, including a senior leader of the Taliban radical movement, in an operation in the country's eastern Nangarhar province, the Khaama news agency reported Thursday, citing the provincial government's press service.
The raid took place on Wednesday near the Surkh Rod district in the north of Nangarhar, the agency reported. A local Taliban commander and a senior leader of the group were among those killed, according to the media.
Afghan forces also managed to seize a vehicle, four motorcycles, weapons and ammunition during the operation.
The raid came amid the Afghan government's decision to begin a peace process with the movement. In late-January, the TOLO news broadcaster reported that Afgan President Ashraf Ghani offered to recognize the Taliban movement as a political group in order to involve it in the peace process in the conflict-torn country.
Commenting on his initiative, Ghani said that women would become full-fledged members of the upcoming peace process, in a move that, according to CNN broadcaster could endanger the peace initiative, as the Taliban doesn't recognize gender equality and can react negatively to women's participation in the process.
Kabul will reportedly exert efforts to work on a list of Taliban prisoners for potential release, to provide the members of the groups and the members of their families with passports and to remove sanctions imposed on the leaders of the movement.
Afghanistan has long suffered from political, social and security-related instability because of simmering insurgencies, including by the Taliban and Daesh*.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia
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