The breakdown in talks between the Northern Alliance and field commanders of the Taliban movement, who are currently blockaded in Kunduz in the North of the country, have been blamed on the foreign mercenaries. The numbers of men have grown to 5000 men. Najib Hakimullah, a representative of the anti-Taliban coalition, disclosed this to RIA Novosti in the Tajik capital. According to him, due to pressure by the mercenaries, the Taliban are refusing to lay down their weapons and cease fighting. This is despite an additional 24 hour extension to the deadline of November 23. As a result the Northern Alliance troops have begun to attack the town he said. Najib Hakimullah also stated that Northern Alliance troops from the high command reserve, including tanks and artillery, were closing in on Kunduz.