A screenshot of the conversation between @ISAFmedia and @ABakhi on social media website Twitter.

After more than a decade of fierce fighting in Afghanistan, the Nato-led Isaf force has taken its war with the Taliban to an entirely different battleground.

On Tuesday, the International Security Assistance Force’s press office got into another war of words with Abdulqahar Balkhi (@abalkhi) — a person known to tweet Taliban’s messages. Unlike the bloody war on the ground, the argument contested claims of casualties and death tolls.

Balkhi claimed Tuesday that four Nato soldiers had been killed by an explosive device earlier in the day. He tweeted: “IED at 8 am today obliterates ISAF tank in Gerishk district (Helmand). All 4 invaders onboard killed.”

To which @Isafmedia, the Isaf’s press office, responded: “ISAF reporting refutes your fatality claim here, and others you make today.”

“Since when is ISAF reporting considered authoritative?? and you are already refuting ‘claims’ for the rest of the day???” remarked Balkhi, who goes by the intro “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, News, Interviews, Analysis, Statements...”.

“Refuting your feed - you claim 15 ISAF fatalities today; ISAF official reporting currently says zero today,” tweeted the official Isaf twitter account, to which Balkhi end conversation with: “Well ISAF personnel need to be held accountable for trying to hide fatalities. Journalists always welcome to confirm ‘claims’.”

This is not the first time the two have got into an argument on the internet. Earlier on May 18, Balkhi claimed the deaths of eight Nato soldiers killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, with the Isaf office refuting the claims. The tweets ended in a similar argument.

As early as 2011, the media has reported similar conversations between the two, with one reported by the Guardian in September and another in November reported by CNN.

While talks with the Taliban may have been stalled, the dialogue, though rather unsavory, continues on Twitter.

Opinion

The curse of irrelevance
24 Jul 2021

The curse of irrelevance

Fear, in essence, is a powerful de-motivator for those who believe their success lies in lazy public validation...
Good & bad Muslims
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Good & bad Muslims

It is essential to interrogate the wider epidemic of violence.
The Afghan stalemate
Updated 21 Jul 2021

The Afghan stalemate

The Taliban cannot think of ruling Afghanistan without international legitimacy.

Editorial

Cyberattack on rights
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Cyberattack on rights

A COLLABORATIVE investigation into a data leak of software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has ...
24 Jul 2021

Sleeper cells

THERE was a time not too long ago when militant groups had unleashed a reign of terror in Pakistan, resulting in...
24 Jul 2021

Prisoners’ return

THE families of 62 Pakistani prisoners who had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia had reason to rejoice this Eid as...
India’s admission
Updated 24 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.