Taliban Spokesman Claims Afghan Province of Panjshir Came 'Under Full Control' of the Group
04:22 GMT 06.09.2021 (Updated: 15:01 GMT 07.09.2021)
Afghanistan's northeastern province of Panjshir remained the last stronghold for which there has been a struggle since the Taliban's* seizure of Kabul on 15 August.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the group is in complete control of Afghanistan's province of Panjshir.
"The last stronghold of enemy mercenaries, Panjshir province, is completely captured ... The latest efforts to ensure complete security in the country also brought results, and Panjshir province came under the full control of the Islamic Emirate," Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter.
He added that some of the resistance fighters were defeated, while others had fled. The Taliban assured the people of Panjshir that they would not oppress them.
In turn, Afghanistan's resistance forces in Panjshir on Monday refuted claims by the Taliban about taking full control over the province, and pledged to continue the fight against the terrorist group.
"The Taliban's statement about capturing Panjshir is not true. Resistance Front forces are present at all the strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight. We assure the Afghan people that the fight against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevail," the resistance forces said in a statement, released on Twitter.
Panjshir is the stronghold of the National Resistance Front, led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late ex-Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, and ex-Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself caretaker president. On Sunday, Massoud said that he was ready to cease fighting and start negotiations if the Taliban abandoned the province.
In early August, the Taliban intensified their offensive against government forces in Afghanistan. The Taliban entered the capital on 15 August and took control of the presidential palace, and on 16 August announced that the war in Afghanistan was over and the form of government in the state would become clear in the near future.
On the night of 31 August, the US military left Kabul airport, ending the nearly 20-year American military presence in Afghanistan.
*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.