Conflicts & War

Taliban says 41 rebels killed in northern Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 13 (EFE).- The Taliban government said Tuesday that its forces killed 41 members of the National Resistance Front (NRF) in the northern Afghan province of Panjshir.

Three NRF commanders were among those killed in a “clearance operation” in the Rukh, Dara and Afshar districts, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter Government troops captured another 100 insurgent fighters, he wrote.

In a subsequent tweet, Mujahid said that a fourth NRF commander originally listed as a prison was in fact dead.

The NRF rebels “wanted to destroy the people’s security,” the Taliban spokesman said.

While the NRF has issued occasional statements about battles with Taliban forces since the fundamentalists returned to power in Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021, Tuesday’s comments from Mujahid mark the first acknowledgment by the government of clashes with the NRF.

The NRF spokesman, Sibghatullah Ahmadi, put the number of dead in rebel ranks at 13, claiming that the Taliban were driven back with significant losses.

“On Sunday, with 32 invaders dead, the enemy attack failed,” Ahmadi tweeted.

The NRF, comprising remnants of earlier anti-Taliban groups and former soldiers of the Afghan government that was toppled 13 months ago, lost control of Panjshir in September 2021.

The National Resistance Front is led by Ahmad Massoud, the 33-year-old son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of the Panjshir” for his struggle against Soviet occupiers in the 1980s and later, against the Taliban.

Shah Massoud was assassinated by suicide bombers two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. EFE lk-igr/dr

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