Taliban and Afghan fighting over Panjshir Valley
September 2, 2021
On Thursday, Taliban troops and fighters loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud clashed in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, with each side claiming high casualties in recent days of fighting in the country’s last province opposing Taliban rule.
Following the overthrow of Kabul on August 15, multiple fighters from armed militias and army and special operations forces gathered in Panjshir. They have been carrying out in the province, a mountainous valley that makes strikes from the outside difficult, under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, son of a former Mujahideen commander.
“Actions to reach an agreement have seemed to have failed, with each side accusing the other for the breakdown of talks as the Taliban organized to reveal a government. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the group’s fighters had joined Panjshir and taken control of some territory. He explained, “We began operations after negotiations with the local armed group fell through”. “They suffered significant losses.”
Even so, a spokesman for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, a rebel group, said it had complete control of all entries and had thwarted efforts to take Shotul district at the valley’s entrance. “The enemy attempted and ceased multiple times to enter Shotul from Jabul-Saraj,” which is bordering to the town Parwan province.
According to the spokesman, NRFA forces have also destroyed a good number of Taliban fighters on two fronts since the conflicts began earlier this week. “The other side has been demonstrated that they cannot address this problem through war,” the spokesman said, referring to the Taliban’s losses. Without showing proof, both sides have given widely different numbers for the other side’s deaths. It was impossible to confirm the number of fighters died on either side.
According to the Taliban, the Panjshir valley is accompanied on all four sides, making a rebel victory impossible. The insurgents have stated that they will not surrender.