Nearly 600 from Taliban killed; over 1,000 captured in Panjshir, claim resistance forces

 

Image Source : AP

Taliban special force fighters arrive inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the U.S. military’s withdrawal, in Kabul, Afghanistan

About 600 Taliban have been killed in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Panjshir, Afghan resistance forces claimed on Saturday. Taking to Twitter, the resistance forces’ spokesperson Fahim Dashti said, “About 600 Taliban have been liquidated in various districts of Panjshir since morning. More than 1,000 Taliban have been captured or surrendered themselves.”

The spokesperson further added the Taliban had problems with getting supplies from other Afghan provinces.

Meanwhile, the Taliban offensive against Panjshir resistance forces has slowed down due to the presence of land mines in the area.

A Taliban source said fighting was continuing in Panjshir but the advance had been slowed by landmines placed on the road to the capital Bazarak and the provincial governor’s compound, reported Al Jazeera.

Ahmad Masoud vows to save Panjshir

Meanwhile, the commander of the anti-Taliban resistance forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province, Ahmad Shah Masoud, has vowed to save the valley from the outfit and said that he will never stop his resistance for the sake of “God, justice and freedom,” local media reported on Saturday.

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 had declared himself caretaker president.

Masoud said that the resistance in Panjshir and protests by women’s rights in Afghanistan indicate that Afghans never give up when it comes to standing for their legitimate rights, the country’s Khaama Press said.

The war over Panjshir province escalated from Friday night and reports have emerged that Panjshir may collapse soon. However, resistance forces denied such claims.

The valley lies in the Hindu Kush mountains, approximately 90 miles north of Kabul. The Taliban have been unable to take this major holdout of resistance after steamrolling across pro-government troops in a matter of months.

In a Facebook post, Ahamd Masoud said, “The defeat only happens when you give up the fight for your legitimate rights and when you get tired.”

Masoud has accused the Taliban of stopping humanitarian supply to the province. He has also urged the UN to press the Taliban to allow humanitarian aid to the province.

On Wednesday, Khaama Press reported that the Taliban’s commission for guidance and encouragement’s head Mullah Amir Khan Motaqi said that negotiations with Panjshir’s leaders failed and asked the people of the province to motivate their leaders.

“This is the first time in the recent history of Afghanistan that a newly appointed government announces general amnesty and why should the people of Panjshir still be in trouble and they do not avail themselves of the freedom,” Khaama Press quoted Motaqi as saying.

(With inputs from ANI)

Also Read | 3 killed, several injured in Taliban’s celebratory gunfire in Kabul over Panjshir takeover claims

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