At least 14 militants, including a commander, have been killed during an operation in the Dasht-i-Archi district of northeastern Kunduz province, officials said on Thursday.
However, residents alleged the fighting had also inflicted casualties on civilians and forced them to leave the area for safer places.
Deputy police chief, Col. Masoom Safi, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan National Army (ANA) troops launched the operation in the district on Thursday morning.
He said 14 militants, including commander Maulvi Ghulam Mohiuddin, were killed and 20 others including two policemen were wounded. The district’s old building and Turkmen village were cleared as the rebels fled to Bajawri village.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the fighters had killed dozens of Afghan security personnel and destroyed three tanks and a Ranger pick-up.
He confirmed the loss of only two militants and wounding of five others, saying the Taliban were just one kilometer from the district centre.
Civilians also suffered casualties during the operation, claimed Feroz, a resident of Bajawri village. He alleged four people including a woman and two children were killed and three others injured when a mortar shell hit their house.
Feroz said hundreds of families had been displaced to the Khwaja Ghar district of Takhar province and Imam Sahib district of Kunduz.
The militants had also entered Bajawri village, whose residents would also be forced to leave their homes if clashes between the rebels and Afghan forces erupted, he said.
But local security officials were unaware of civilian casualties. They said the militants might have fired rockets into villages and inflicted casualties on residents.
Dasht-i-Archi district fell to the insurgents on September 28. However, the town is currently under Afghan forces’ control and a clearing operation is underway there.