Armed clashes lasting several hours in the capital of Afghanistan's northern Takhar province have ended after eight members of the Islamic State group were killed during a special operation, the Taliban government claims.
The announcement was made hours after reports said the clashes were as a result of infighting among opposing Taliban groups.
The main highway between the provinces of Takhar and Badakhshan remained closed during the fighting and a local market caught fire due to the intensity of the clashes, local media reported.
Initially, a number of media outlets and local sources said various Taliban groups were fighting each other in at least two areas of Taloqan city.
A local elder told the DPA news agency that there was infighting between two rival Taliban groups in the Shaghal Tapa area of the city and another armed clash between the Taliban police and intelligence forces in the city's PD4 district.
Others said the fighting was between the Taliban forces and the supporters of a prominent pro-Taliban cleric in the province who was dismissed a few months ago in a chaotic process.
In the meantime, an explosion hit a minibus in the eastern part of Kabul city. Reportedly, the blast was caused by a so-called sticky bomb.
Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told DPA that the minibus had caught fire and a team was investigating the incident.
Zadran added that several people were killed and wounded in the incident but said the exact number was unclear.
Observers say the Taliban are under-reporting security incidents in Afghanistan and usually hide internal rifts or attacks by their opponents.