Afghan officials: 50 Taliban switch sides in north

KABUL, Afghanistan  — Afghan officials said 50 Taliban fighters have laid down their arms to join the government in northern Afghanistan.
Kunduz province police chief Abdul Rahman Sayedkhaili said 10 or 15 militants at a time have switched sides in recent months, but that on Tuesday, 50 Taliban fighters joined pro-government forces.
He said the Taliban — from Iman Sahib district — were being heavily pressured by Afghan and coalition forces.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said he has no reports of any Taliban switching sides.
He said that even if they did, they might be just doing it temporarily because of the onset of winter, or as part of their own war tactics. He said more than 3,000 Taliban are actively fighting in the north.