Taliban reject toll claims

Taliban have rejected claims made by US and Afghan forces that some 76 or more of its fighters have been killed in the latest offensive since the fall of its government in 2001.

    Taliban say US bombs are not killing them, but civilians

    Speaking to Khyber TV by satellite phone from an undisclosed location, Taliban spokesman Mufti Latif Allah Hakimi said on Thursday that - contrary to numerous media reports - no battles had taken place in Zabul or Kandahar.

    "If the Americans say they are bombing and killing dozens of people, then it shows that they must be killing ordinary people. I assure you we have not taken part in any battles in the places that are being bombed", Hakimi said.

    But Kandahar's provincial police chief, Muhammad Ayub Salangi, told Aljazeera.net on Thursday that his forces had killed dozens of insurgents and that he was sure of their identity as Taliban fighters.

    "We have no doubts at all. Our forces on the ground have so far counted 76 Taliban bodies and not all have been counted. I'm sure we got a lot more", Salangi said.

    Pointing out that three Afghan policemen were also killed in the two-day battle on Tuesday and Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, Salangi asked "if they were not fighting Taliban, who shot at them?".

    Afghan police and US troops were still combing valleys in a small area on the borders of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan provinces where the insurgents are thought to be hiding, he added.

    US offensive

    According to the US military, the forces it leads in Afghanistan are trying to curb a comeback by the Taliban since the beginning of the year that has cost the lives of more than 400 people, most of them insurgents.

    Taliban spokesman Mulla Latif
    Allah did not disclose his location

    Fifteen US soldiers have also been killed by hostile fire since the beginning of 2005.

    The renewed attacks were initially dismissed as a brief spurt of rebel activity after Afghanistan's harshest winter for a decade.

    But officials have since said the Taliban are making a concerted effort to disrupt important legislative polls due in September.

    Taliban were toppled from power three and a half years ago by US forces and a group of ethnic-Uzbek and Tajik commanders after Kabul failed to surrender Usama bin Ladin.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Aina Gamzatova: The Muslim woman challenging Putin

    The Muslim woman who wants to run against Putin

    A 46-year old with no chance of winning the presidency has announced her bid, and she wants to get tough on fighters.