According to TOLO News, the Taliban said on Monday that they had taken control of Panjshir province, the country’s lone stronghold of resistance.
By Vaishali Pandey/The Newster
Following days of battle with resistance troops in the valley near Kabul, the Taliban announced on Monday that they had “fully captured” Panjshir, the stronghold of northern alliance against the hardline Islamist group, Taliban in Afghanistan.
The anti-Taliban resistance army has pledged to continue fighting after the Taliban claimed control of Panjshir.
Thousands of Taliban militants overran eight districts of Panjshir overnight, according to witnesses reported by the Associated Press.
The Taliban said on Sunday that their troops had taken control of Rokha district, one of Panjshir’s eight districts.
According to AFP, Taliban chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, “With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war.”
Mujahid reassured Panjshir locals that they would be secure. In his statement, Mujahid stated, “We give full confidence to the honourable people of Panjshir that they will not be subjected to any discrimination, that all are our brothers, and that we will serve a country and a common goal.”
National Resistance Front Refuted The Taliban’s Claims
The Taliban’s claims were refuted by the National Resistance Front, which stated it was present in “strategic positions” all across the valley and that “the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue.”
“Taliban’s claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight. We assure the ppl of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban & their partners will continue until justice & freedom prevails,” it stated on Twitter.
The War Over Panjshir Valley
Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president, and Ahmad Massoud, the son of anti-Taliban warrior Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated few days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, headed the National Resistance Front in the Panjshir Valley.
In the 1980s, the Panjshir Valley in the Hindu Kush mountains fought against the Soviet soldiers. And now, a decade later, under Ahmad Massoud’s leadership, it again fought against the Taliban.
On Friday night, the battle with the Taliban in Panjshir province intensified. National Resistance Front reported two of its top leaders, Fahim Dashti, the front’s spokesperson, and General Abdul Wudod Zara, Massoud’s nephew were killed.
According to reports, Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s interim president (as he claims), has relocated to a secure location following a helicopter strike on his home.
On Sunday, Ahmad Massoud stated that if the Taliban leave the region, they are willing to stop fighting and begin negotiations.