Afghanistan: Taliban Takes ‘Complete Control’ Of Panjshir Province
The Taliban claims it has captured the Panjshir province, the last remaining stronghold against the militants in Afghanistan.
While Taliban fighters sped through their takeover of the country, taking Kabul in mid-August, Panjshir stood steadfast against the insurgents.
The National Resistance Front (NRF) has consistently opposed the Taliban, and despite reports of a takeover amid heavy fighting in the valley, the group has denied the claims.
‘It is not true, the Taliban haven’t captured Panjshir, I am rejecting Taliban claims,’ NRF spokesman Ali Maisam told BBC News, while a Taliban spokesman said, ‘With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war.’
As per AP, the Taliban took control of at least eight districts in Panjshir overnight, including Rokha. The area is home to between 150,000 and 200,000 people.
The NRF has strenuously denied the claims, even writing on Twitter, ‘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 [sic].’
Fahim Dashti, a spokesman for the anti-Taliban group, was killed in a battle with Taliban fighters over the weekend.
Echoing past statements – many of which have been dubbed as propaganda, such as the ‘amnesty’ for women despite reports of violence, executions and stay-at-home orders – Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid urged Panjshir’s residents they’d be safe under the group’s rule, amid families trying to flee into the mountains.
‘We give full confidence to the honorable 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,’ he said in a statement.
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