- BBC News World
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Monday that the Islamist group has seized control of Panjshir province, the only territory in Afghanistan beyond its control.
Panjshir Valley “was cleared today [6 de septiembre] completely, “he said at a press conference in Kabul, the capital.
As an apparent example of this, the group published a video in which several of its militants are seen raising their flag in Panjshir.
They also released images on social media in which their members appear in front of the gate of the complex where the Panjshir provincial government is located.
Mujahid said that the fighters in the area – the National Resistance Front (FRN), a multi-ethnic group made up of militias and former members of the Afghan security forcesled by the guerrilla Ahmad Massoud – they refused to negotiate their surrender.
The Taliban sent military forces to get rid of the final stronghold of “terrorism” in the country, Mujahid added, assuring that there were no civilian casualties.
He also said that the leaders of the Panjshir resistance are “disappeared at the moment” and that they seized the weapons of the fighters.
Days earlier, the Islamists had posted photos and videos on social media of key places in the valley that they apparently took control of.
What are the rebels in Panjshir saying?
During the Taliban press conference, Ali Nazary, the NRF’s foreign affairs chief, said on Twitter that their leader Ahmad Massoud is safe. Massoud himself published a tweet confirming that information.
Later, in an audio published on social networks, Massoud he called for a “national uprising” against the Taliban.
“Wherever you are, inside or outside, I am calling you to start a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country,” he said.
Massoud also blamed the international community for legitimizing the Taliban and giving them military and political confidence.
So far, the Panjshir resistance has rejected all claims that the valley has fallen to the Taliban.
“The claim that the Taliban have occupied Panjshir is false“the group said in a tweet.
“NRF forces are present in all strategic positions in the valley to continue the fight. We assure the people of Afghanistan that the fight against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevail.”
Pansjhir has for 40 years been a historic bastion of resistance against invading forces, including the Taliban regime of the 1990s.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.