Taliban Claims to Repulse Attack in South Afghanistan
Taliban troops have repulsed a fierce attack by US-backed local forces in the southeast of Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported Saturday.
The Pakistan-based news agency, quoting a Taliban spokesman, said the Islamic militia killed many of the attacking Pashtun tribesmen and had the others under siege in the province of Kandahar.
There was no independent confirmation of the report.
The spokesman said the Taliban fighters came under attack overnight from the forces of former Kandahar governor Haji Gul Agha in the area of Afghanistan, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Kandahar city.
"American warplanes bombarded our positions continuously but the opposition failed to gain any ground," the spokesman told AIP. "We have manged to defeat the opposition. Many people are killed and the rest are under siege."
Kandahar is the spiritual home of the Taliban and one of two remaining pockets of resistance along with Kunduz in the north after the militia was routed from most of Afghanistan by the rival Northern Alliance.
The AIP also reported that the Taliban had turned back an attack by another local force around Marba, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southwestern province of Helmand.
A Taliban spokesman said that 25 anti-Taliban soldiers had been captured and four vehicles seized, according to the news agency – Islamabad (AF)