Taliban gain ground in last stronghold of resistance

September 5, 2021 by archyde

The Taliban said on Saturday that they have managed to take control of four of the eight districts that make up Panjshir, the only one of the 34 Afghan regions that has not yet fully fallen into the hands of the Taliban.

“The Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call themselves) made significant advances in Panjshir and our fighters have captured four districts, including the districts of Paryan, Khenj, Anaba and Shotul,” Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told Efe, EFE reviewed.

The spokesman indicated that Abshar, one of the districts of the region, “is almost 90 percent under our control,” which would raise its conquest to more than half of the area after several days of intense attacks.

In the last 24 hours, the attacks caused significant casualties on the opposing side of “several commanders (and) dozens of militiamen and soldiers,” Karimi said, adding that “a large number of their checkpoints and bases have been captured by our mujahideen ”.

“Our mujahideen are advancing towards the center of Panjshir and the enemy is in a panic. Some of them have already started to surrender to our mujahideen, “so” we hope that the remaining parts of Panjshir will be captured soon, “he said.

A member of the Afghan resistance who requested anonymity explained to Efe that the situation in Panjshir is difficult, since “thousands of Taliban rushed into the province from all directions, from all neighboring provinces, and the resistance forces are under unprecedented pressure ”.

The source, who is in one of the provinces captured by the Islamist formation, added that they do not have exact information on the advances of the Taliban or the capture of districts because the telecommunications system is completely down and it is almost impossible to coordinate the information. .

In recent days, with the intensification of the attacks, the fighters cut off telecommunications services and all supply routes to Panjshir province, raising concerns about the humanitarian situation that could unfold in the region.

Panjshir is the only one of the 34 Afghan provinces that is currently not under Islamist control, after the group captured the remaining 33 regions in less than two weeks, culminating the achievement with the capture of Kabul on 15 April. August.

The forces in Panjshir are led by former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, the self-proclaimed new president of Afghanistan after former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country during the takeover of Kabul, and Ahmad Massoud, son of the late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, “the lion of the Panjshir ”, a legend for having stood up to the Soviets and the Taliban.

Panjshir was also the center of resistance against the Islamist group during the previous Taliban regime, between 1996 and 2001, which ended with a US invasion that came to an end just this week after almost two decades of war.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my