The Taliban have claimed that Panjshir province was “completely conquered”, adding that the country was now finally out of the vortex of war. However, the resistance forces have denied their claim.
The Taliban also raised their flag atop the Panjshir Governor’s office, reported Asvaka news.
In a statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, “Panjshir province, the last stronghold of the mercenary enemy, was completely conquered. With the help of God Almighty and with the broad support of our nation, our latest efforts for the complete security of the country and the province have paid off.” Follow Afghanistan LIVE Updates
Zabihullah Mujahid said in Panjshir, a number of resistance force members were beaten while the rest fled. He claimed that the “oppressed and honorable people” of Panjshir were released from hostages.
— Zabihullah (..ذبـــــیح الله م ) (@Zabehulah_M33) September 6, 2021
“They were rescued. We give full assurance to the honorable people of Panjshir that they will not be discriminated against, they are all our brothers and we will serve a country and a common goal. With this recent victory and efforts, our country has completely come out of the vortex of war, and our people will have a peaceful and happy life in the atmosphere of freedom, independence and prosperity,” he said.
However, a close aide of former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who is holding out in Panjshir, told India Today, “The Taliban claims are false. Resistance forces are up on the mountains and defending themselves. The Taliban are aided by Pakistani choppers for operations against us.”
The Taliban’s announcement came after the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), led by Ahmad Massoud, issued a statement welcoming the calls for negotiation and an “immediate end to the war”. However, as per reports in the local Pajhwok news agency, the Taliban have rejected the NRF’s offer.
On Sunday, the resistance forces suffered heavy casualties after Fahim Dashti, their spokesperson, was killed during a battle with the Taliban in Panjshir. General Sahib Abdul Wadood Zhor, the nephew of Ahmad Shah Massoud and chief commander Saleh Mohammed, were also killed in the battle.
The Taliban’s military operations in Panjshir were allegedly aided by the Pakistan Air Force, whose drones dropped bombs on the valley, reports said.