Taliban Claim Control Over Panjshir Valley, but Resistance Vows to Fight On

The Taliban claimed on Monday to have captured the Panjshir Valley, the final bastion of Afghanistan not firmly below their management, at the same time as representatives of the opposition forces there maintained that they nonetheless had management over strategic positions within the area and vowed to combat on.

The conflicting accounts of what was occurring on the bottom within the area 70 miles north of Kabul had been laborious to confirm as web and phone service into the area has been reduce off.

While rumors of the Taliban’s having taken over swirled this previous weekend, it was not till Monday morning that the group formally claimed management.

“Panjshir Province completely fell to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, wrote in an announcement on Twitter.

Taliban fighters posted pictures on-line stated to be of militants elevating the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, because the Taliban calls the nation, within the provincial capital, Bazarak, in addition to of their forces speaking to native leaders.

While the Taliban claimed that that they had conquered the whole province, the opposition group, the National Resistance Front, disputed that account, saying that its forces had been nonetheless positioned throughout the Panjshir Valley.

“We assure the people of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevails,” it stated on Twitter.

For its half, the Taliban sought to reassure the native inhabitants that its forces meant them no hurt.

“We give full assurance to the honorable people of Panjshir that they will not be discriminated against,” Mr. Mujahid stated. “They are all our brothers, and we will serve a country and a common goal.”

The Taliban took over the vast majority of Afghanistan with astonishing pace after the withdrawal of most American forces. The U.S.-trained Afghan safety forces melted away earlier than the militants, typically with out firing a shot, culminating within the Taliban’s seizure on Aug. 15 of the capital, Kabul.

Fighters stated to be in entrance of the provincial governor’s workplace in Panjshir Province in Afghanistan, in posted to social media on Monday.Credit…by way of Reuters

Still, pockets of resistance remained, notably within the north, the place the Taliban have lengthy clashed with different paramilitary teams. In late August, a bunch of former mujahedeen fighters and Afghan commandos stated that that they had begun a struggle of resistance in Panjshir. A rugged space about 70 miles north of Kabul, Panjshir, with its mountains and craggy valleys, has offered cowl for insurgents for the reason that Soviet occupation of the 1980s.

The Taliban in current days reported making good points in opposition to the resistance forces and killing some senior leaders, together with the resistance spokesman, Fahim Dashti. Ahmad Zia Kechkenni, Mr. Dashti’s brother, stated in an interview on Monday that the spokesman “was martyred for defending his people and country, Afghanistan.”