They also report high casualties among Taliban fighters deployed from other provinces to quell fighting led by the resurgent anti-Taliban National Resistance Front (NRF) and to round up local religious figures and other potential insurrection leaders.
“As they (the Taliban) searched for the resistance, they encountered difficulties but took a number of young men hostage,” said one resident of Abdullah Khel Valley.
“There are dead bodies in every corner,” said Mullah Mahad, 41, another resident. “But they (locals) don’t have the right to bury their dead.”
Another resident, Gul Aqa, said that clashes with the NRF resulted in heavy losses for the Taliban.
“The Taliban sent more troops and military weapons to suppress the gunmen, but this time the National Resistance Front forces based in the Abdullah Khel Valley attacked the Taliban convoy,” he said.
The reported fighting has led to a war of words between the NRF and the Taliban, with the resistance group claiming in recent days that it had killed scores of Taliban fighters and taken control of large parts of the Abshar and Dara districts, including the Abdullah Khel Valley, RFE/RL reported.