The Taliban claimed to have occupied the Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan’s last fort, on Monday, but representatives of Afghan opposition claimed to still control the strategic position of the region and vowed to fight. ..
The contradictory explanation of what was happening on the ground 70 miles north of Kabul was difficult to confirm due to the interruption of internet and telephone services to the area.
Rumors that the Taliban had taken over swirled last weekend, but the group did not officially claim control until Monday morning.
“Panjshir has completely fallen into the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” wrote Taliban spokesman Zabifra Mujahid. Twitter statement..
Taliban fighter posted image online Radicals raising flags Of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in the state capital of Bazarac, and of their troops talking to local leaders, as the Taliban are calling the country.
The Taliban claimed to have conquered the entire state, but the opposition group National Resistance Front disagreed with the explanation, stating that its troops were still located across the Panjshir Valley.
“We assure the Afghan people that the fight between the Taliban and its partners will continue until justice and freedom spread.” Said on twitter..
As part of that, the Taliban sought to reassure the locals that it meant that their troops would not harm them.
“We fully guarantee that the honorable people of Panjshir will not be discriminated against,” said Mujahid. “They are all our brothers and we serve a common goal with the country.”
The Taliban hijacked most of Afghanistan at an alarming rate after most US troops withdrew. US-trained Afghan security forces melted in front of militants, sometimes without firing, culminating in the seizure of the Taliban on August 15 in the capital Kabul.
Still, pockets of resistance remained, especially in the north, where the Taliban had long clashed with other paramilitaries. In late August, a group of former Mujahideen fighters and Afghan commanders said they had begun a resistance war at Panjshir. Panjshir, a rugged region about 70 miles north of Kabul, has mountains and rocky valleys that have protected armed groups since the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
The recent Taliban reportedly benefited the resistance and killed some senior leaders, including resistance spokesman Fahim Dashti. Dashti’s brother, Ahmad Zia Kechkenni, said in an interview Monday that a spokesman “martyred to protect his people and country, Afghanistan.”