The Taliban said Monday that it dominated Panjshir, north of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The state was the last supporter of the anti-Taliban army in the country and the only state that the Taliban did not seize during the sweep last month.
Thousands of Taliban fighters overtook eight districts of Panjshir overnight, according to witnesses in the area. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of their safety.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement Monday, stating that Panjshir is currently under the control of Taliban fighters.
The anti-Taliban army was led by former Vice President Amurula Surrey and the son of the iconic anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed days before the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Masoud’s son, Ahmad, issued a statement on Sunday calling for the end of the recent raging battle. Masoud, who attends a young British school, said his army was ready to put their weapons only if the Taliban agreed to end their attack. Late Sunday, dozens of Taliban-laden vehicles were seen swarming in the Panjshir Valley.
There is no statement from Saleh, the former Vice President of Afghanistan, who declared himself acting president after Ashraf Ghani fled the country on August 15, when the Taliban arrived at the gates of the capital. The Taliban then entered Cheong Wa Dae that day.
In his statement, Mujahid sought to ensure that the residents of Panjshir were safe, even if dozens of families fled to the mountains prior to the arrival of the Taliban.
“We are completely confident that the honorable people of Panjshir will not be discriminated against, that they are all our brothers, and that we will serve the common goals of the country,” Mujahid said. Said in a statement.