Heavy fighting erupted between the Taliban and opposing forces stationed in the Panjshir Valley after talks between them failed.
A spokesman for the forces that bears the name of the “Afghan National Resistance Front”, Fahim Dashty, said that the front was able to repel the Taliban attack and inflict heavy losses on it, reported by the Voice of America.
Dashty stated that the confrontations that erupted a few days ago on 4 axes are still continuing, adding that during the confrontations, more than 300 Taliban terrorists were killed and more than two hundred others were wounded, and thirty were captured, according to some sources of The Eastern Herald.
Dashty explained that the Taliban launch offensive operations in the northeast of the valley, particularly from a mountain pass called Khawak, as well as from the southwest of Parwan province. Dashty stated that the “Afghan National Resistance Front”, as it calls itself, repelled the Taliban attack and inflicted several hundred casualties. “They were badly defeated,” he added.
For its part, the Taliban confirmed the failure of negotiations with the front, and that “war is the decisive option at the present time,” and did not comment on the number of losses in its forces, according to The Eastern Herald sources.
While Taliban followers circulated on social media a video of the movement’s fighters on their way to Panjshir in a convoy of cars flying the movement’s flags. They claimed that the Taliban had captured several areas that were controlled by opposition forces. Traffic was also closed on the main road linking Panjshir with the neighboring Gulbahar district.
The opposition is led by Ahmed Massoud, son of the well-known anti-Taliban resistance leader in the 1990s, Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was killed by al-Qaeda terrorists before the September 11 attacks[9/11 attacks].
After the fall of Kabul last month, members of Afghan security forces from across the country, feeling betrayed by the surrender of their military leaders, headed to Panjshir to join the opposition. Among them were some of the Special Forces, who were famous for their victories on the battlefield against the Taliban over the years, as well as the first deputy head of the ousted regime, Amrullah Saleh.
Each side blamed the other for the failure of the talks between the two sides. On Wednesday, the Taliban called on the fighters in the opposition stronghold in the Panjshir Valley to lay down their weapons.
“Brothers, we made all our efforts to solve the problem of Panjshir through talks and negotiations…but unfortunately (the efforts) were in vain,” a senior Taliban official, Amir Khan Mottaki, said in an audio message to the people of Panjshir and posted on Twitter.
He added: “Now that talks have failed and Taliban fighters are encircling Panjshir, there are still those inside who do not want to solve problems peacefully.” The Taliban message addressed the people of Panjshir, saying, “It is up to you to talk to them…those who want to fight, tell them enough is enough.”
The Defense Minister of the government that fell last month, Basemullah Mohammadi, said the Taliban launched a new attack on Panjshir on Tuesday evening.
“Last night, Taliban terrorists attacked Panjshir, but they were defeated,” Mohammadi wrote on Twitter, adding that 34 Taliban fighters were killed and 65 wounded. “Our people should not be worried, they retreated and incurred heavy human losses,” he added.
The people of Panjshir and fighters, many of whom fought the Taliban when it held power between 1996 and 2001, sent a message of defiance. “We are ready to defend the area until the last drop of our blood,” said one of the residents.
Another said, “Everyone has a weapon and is ready to shoot,” adding, “From the smallest to the oldest, everyone is talking about the resistance.”
Dashty stated that the Front does not object to a dialogue with the Taliban, but it refuses to accept the movement’s proposals, which focus on the personal privileges of the leader of the Front, Ahmed Masoud, according to the Eastern Herald reporter.