KABUL, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants have claimed victory over the rival Islamic State (IS) outfit as up to 200 fighters including some senior leaders of the hardliner group gave up fighting and handed over their weapons to local authorities in Darzab district of the northern Jawzjan province on Wednesday.
According to Jawzjan provincial governor Mawlawi Lutfullah Azizi, about 200 fighters of the Islamic State group including senior leaders namely Mawlawi Habibullah, Mafti Nematullah and Mawlawi Suhbat have given up fighting and handed over their weapons to local authorities in Darzab district Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Zabihullah Majahid who claims to speak for the Taliban outfit, in contact with media claimed victory over the rival IS group and asserted, "despite US airstrikes on Mujahidin (Taliban fighters), Daesh (Islamic State) completely eradicated in Northern province of Jowzjan as 153 have been killed, over 100 wounded and 134 detained".
"Daesh (IS) leaders Hibib Rahman, Mufti Naimatullah along with 154 gunmen have taken refuge with regime," Taliban purported spokesman contended.
The surrender of IS militants to government, according to the locals, is taking place in the wake of fierce fighting between Taliban and IS group in Darzab and the neighboring Qush Tepa district which have left around 300 people dead from both sides over the past three weeks.
Locals, moreover, believe that the defeat of IS group at the hands of Taliban militants and government pressure in Jawzjan, has reduced the armed outfit's fighting ability to zero in the northern region.
Darzab district in the northern Jawzjan province with Shiberghan as its capital 390 km north of Kabul has been regarded as IS bastion in the northern provinces over the past nearly two years.
IS group which has claimed responsibility for launching deadly attacks even on the mosques, school, clinic and government departments since its emergence in Afghanistan nearly four years ago has yet to make comment on the situation in Darzab district.