Fierce fighting in Panjshir valley; both Taliban, Resistance claim ‘upper hand’

Even as the Taliban claims that it has taken “full control” of Afghanistan by capturing the Panjshir valley, the Resistance fighters continuous heavy fighting has denied this.

The Resistance forces is led by local tribal leader Ahmad Massoud, the son of former Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, including former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan security forces and local militias. Both sides are claiming to have gained the upper hand.

Dismissing claims that he had fled the country, Saleh said, “The situation was difficult. We are under invasion by the Taliban. We will not surrender, we are standing for Afghanistan,” the BBC reported.

In a video message sent to the BBC, the former vice-president of Afghanistan, said there had been casualties on both sides.

According to reports, the fighting in Panjshir has left hundreds dead. The valley in north of the capital Kabul, is one of the smallest provinces of Afghanistan, which has not fallen to the Taliban.

The traditional anti-Taliban resistance force is home to around 150,000 and 200,000 people, hidden behind the mountain peaks.

The National Resistance Front (NRF) spokesperson, Ali Nazari told BBC World News that the rebels had pushed the Taliban militants on the back foot.

“There are well over a few hundred Taliban who are trapped. And they are running out of munitions and they are negotiating terms of surrender right now,” he said.

But the Taliban have been claiming victory in the area, with one commander telling media, “By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of the entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command.”

The Taliban now control the rest of the country, and are expected to announce a new government soon.

On Friday, the European Union and UK joined the US, saying they will deal with the militants group, but won’t recognise them as Afghan government.

The EU said it was planning to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan’s capital to oversee evacuations and ensure that a new government fulfils commitments on issues including security and human rights.

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