Media reports reported hearing Ibtihaj shooting Friday in the Afghan capital, Kabul, with conflicting information about the Taliban’s complete control of the Panjshir Valley.
Reuters quoted sources in the movement as saying that the Taliban “fully took control of the last pockets of resistance against it.”
The agency quoted a military spokesman for the movement: “The rioters have been defeated and the area is under our control.”
The Taliban has not made any official announcement, and a Panjshir resident told AFP by phone that the information was false.
For his part, Amrullah Saleh, one of the leaders of the National Resistance Front against the Taliban, shared a video to prove that he is still in the Panjshir Valley.
He said that media reports about his escape were incorrect, adding, “There is no doubt that we are in a difficult situation, we are under attack from the Taliban. But we will not surrender. We will hold out for Afghanistan.”
The Panjshir region in northeastern Afghanistan witnessed intense fighting between the forces of the Taliban movement on one side and the forces of the so-called National Resistance Front on the other.
Those reports could not be confirmed yet, as the Resistance Front said Friday that it controls all entrances to Panjshir, and that the Taliban have lost hundreds of their fighters.
Panshir is the only province that has not fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and thousands of opposition fighters have taken refuge there, according to what observers believe.
The resistance front includes Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan vice president, and former members of the Afghan security forces, as well as local militias.
The front is led by Ahmed Masoud, son of Ahmed Shah Massoud, who led the Northern Alliance forces against the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and the Taliban in the 1990s.
What did the two sides say?
Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that the movement’s militants have advanced to the Panjshir Valley after negotiations failed, according to Reuters news agency.
Fahmi Dashti, a spokesman for the National Resistance Front, said the negotiations failed because the two sides took diametrically opposite positions.
Dashti added to the BBC that the resistance front is fighting Taliban militants on two fronts, and that the front has killed 350 of the movement’s fighters and captured a number of others.
It is difficult to verify the credibility of the statements of both sides.
On the ground, there are reports of Taliban militants chasing and killing people who were Afghan government officials or senior police officers.
These reports contradict the moderate image that the movement tried to export to public opinion at the time of its control of the country.
waiting for government
Afghanistan is still waiting Friday for the announcement of its new government, nearly three weeks after the Taliban’s return to power, while the movement is still facing a pocket of resistance in the Panjshir Valley.
He was expected to announce Friday the new executive authority, but a Taliban spokesman told AFP that its composition would not be announced before Saturday at the earliest.
The Taliban returned to power after being overthrown by a US-led coalition twenty years ago, and promised to form an “inclusive” government.
Therefore, the formation of a new government will be a test of the real desire for change shown by the Islamist movement, whose first era (1996-2001) was marked by a brutal policy towards women and opponents.
Biden visits the victims
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden visited soldiers who had been wounded in a bloody attack on Kabul Airport, where soldiers were assisting in the evacuation of Americans and Afghans from the country. Thirteen US soldiers were among the 170 killed in the attack.
Biden’s visit came four days after US soldiers left Afghanistan, which witnessed the collapse of its Western-backed government in front of Taliban forces in record time.
Biden faces criticism because of his decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, as well as the way in which he oversaw the development of events during the past few weeks.
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