CAIRO, October 16. /TASS/. Clashes between the National Resistance Front and the Taliban radical movement (banned in Russia) have resumed in Baghlan province in northeastern Afghanistan.
Afghan Islamic Press reported on Saturday that at least seven militiamen were killed in the hostilities. Among them were two commanders of the National Resistance Front. The Taliban suffered casualties as well, but they were not specified. There are no more details yet about the incident.
The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) mounted a massive operation to regain control over Afghanistan after the United States announced the withdrawal of its military personnel from the country. On August 15, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country, and the Taliban forces swept into Kabul, meeting no resistance. The forces opposing the Taliban rule offered resistance in Panjshir Province, which was headed by Ahmad Massoud, the son of the famed guerilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001). Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself "caretaker president," urged the country to support it.
Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on September 6 that the movement had secured full control over Panjshir Province. Massoud, in turn, stated that the anti-Taliban resistance continues to fight on. Ali Maysam Nazari, the Front’s spokesman, clarified later that the resistance was switching to guerrilla warfare tactics.
On February 14, 2003, Russia’s Supreme Court handed down a ruling declaring the Taliban to be a terrorist organization, which is outlawed in Russia.