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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/4/21

Taliban announce capture of Panjshir Valley

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The Taliban forces on Friday captured Panjshir valley where anti-Taliban forces had been holding out. With this, the Taliban have taken full control of Afghanistan. Taliban sources told Reuters that the Taliban militia had on Friday seized the Panjshir valley north of Kabul, the last part of Afghanistan holding out against it.

"By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of the entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command," one Taliban commander was quoted as saying by Reuters.

On the other hand, former vice president Amrullah Saleh, one of the leaders of the opposition forces, told Afghan Tolo News that reports of him fleeing the country were lies. He also tweeted: "The RESISTANCE is continuing and will continue. I am here with my soil, for my soil & defending its dignity."

While the forces have been clashing sporadically for the past two weeks, an intense clash between the Taliban and the so-called Resistance Front has been continuing for the last four days.

On Thursday night, the fight escalated prompting former president Hamid Karzai to appeal to both the warring sides to stop clashing as more bloodshed is not of any service to Afghanistan and Afghan people.

Amid the ongoing clash, reports claimed that Panjshir Resistance leader Amrullah Saleh has fled to Tajikistan. In a video, Amrullah Saleh said that he was still in Panjshir and the clashes between the Resistance Front were ongoing.

A Twitter handle apparently belonging to Panjshir leader Ahmad Massoud also claimed that the news of the Panjshir conquest, circulating on Pakistan media, is a lie. "Conquering Panjshir will be my last day in Panjshir, inshallah," he wrote.

Massoud is the son of the late guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, dubbed the "Lion of Panjshir" for holding out first against Soviet and then Taliban forces when they were power before.

He is understood to want autonomy for the region. Massoud said in a statement Wednesday that the Taliban had offered them "one or two seats" in their new administration, but he had rejected the deal.

"The Taliban have chosen the path of war," Massoud said.

The Panjshir -- mainly inhabited by ethnic Tajik people -- has immense symbolic value in Afghanistan as the area that has resisted occupation by invaders in the past.

Panjshir remained undefeated during the earlier regime of the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001 when Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir, formed Northern Alliance, which got support from many countries.

40,000 Afghan evacuees left in limbo across globe

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
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