Panjshir, the last province that put up a brave fight against the swift Taliban advance across Afghanistan, has fallen. The Taliban took to Twitter and claimed that they have completely captured the Panjshir Valley located 90 miles north of Kabul.
“Panjshir province, the last stronghold of the mercenary enemy, was completely conquered,” Zabihullah Mujahid, which claims to be the official Twitter account of the spokesman of ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, said in a tweet.
Addressing a press conference, Mujahid further said – “The influential and jihadi commanders of the people of Panjshir are in coordination with us. These operations were also carried out with their help.”
Mujahid further added that the “invaders” will never reconstruct their country and stressed that ‘it is the responsibility of our people to do it themselves’. He further added that the Afghan forces who were trained in the past 20 years will be asked to rejoin the security departments alongside the Taliban forces.
Earlier, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan took to Twitter and claimed that the 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,” the Front said from what was claimed to be its official Twitter handle.
As’vaka News Agency reported that the Resistance Front has ‘denied the Taliban’s claim of control of the province’. Ali Maysam Nazari, a spokesman for the Resistance Front tweeted that Panjshir had not fallen to the Taliban and claimed that the forces are fighting the Taliban in various parts of Panjshir.
Earlier today, the last anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan had acknowledged that they had suffered major battlefield losses and called for a ceasefire. At least two senior leaders of the Resistance forces – including Fahim Dashti, the spokesperson of the Resistance Forces and the nephew of Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the front, were killed in the conflict between the two sides over the weekend.
The ongoing battle between the Taliban insurgents and the Resistance forces started on Friday evening. The front, led by Massoud, had earlier claimed that the defences at Panjshir were strong to resist the Taliban advance. Over the weekend, however, he took to social media and said that the Resistance forces were willing to have a dialogue with the Taliban.
The National Resistance Front had proposed that the Taliban withdraw from Panjshir, and in return, the forces will refrain from military action against the militia that is now set to rule the war-torn nation. The softened stance came after the Taliban fighters advanced deep into the last holdout province of Panjshir even as a top US general warned that Afghanistan faces a ‘wider civil war that would offer fertile ground for a resurgence of terrorism’.