What’s Happening in Panjshir? Here’s What We Know

Kabul: Hours after the Taliban claimed victory over Panjshir valley, the last holdout province where opposition forces are staging resistance against the terror group, former Afghanistan Vice-President Amrullah Saleh denied allegations and refused to surrender. In a video message sent to the BBC, Saleh said there had been casualties on both sides. “There is no doubt we are in a difficult situation. We are under invasion by the Taliban,” he said. But he added: “We will not surrender, we are standing for Afghanistan.” Saleh has also dismissed reports suggesting that he had fled the country.Also Read – Ahmad Massoud: Prepared To Fight Taliban, Northern Alliance Flag Will Fly High But We Need Help

Here’s What Happening in Panjshir Valley?

  1. The Taliban have claimed that it has taken “full control” of Afghanistan by capturing Panjshir. However, the Resistance fighters they are battling have denied the claim.
  2. According to reports, heavy fighting is continuing between both groups.
  3. The Resistance includes former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan security force members, and local militias. The Resistance is being led by local tribal leader Ahmad Massoud. His father successfully fought the Soviets who invaded in the 1980s, and the Taliban in the 1990s.
  4. The fighting in Panjshir is reported to have left hundreds dead.
  5. The valley, north of the capital Kabul, is one of Afghanistan’s smallest provinces and the only one not to have fallen to the Taliban.
  6. The traditional anti-Taliban stronghold is home to somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people, and is hidden behind mountain peaks.
  7. Ali Nazari, a spokesperson for the National Resistance Front (NRF) fighters, told BBC World News that the rebels had pushed the Taliban on the back foot.
  8. But Taliban officials have been claiming victory in the area, with one commander telling a leading media outlet: “By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command.”
  9. The Taliban are now in control of the rest of the country, and are expected to announce a new government in the coming days.

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