AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT-PANJSHIR
Heavy fighting between the Taliban and opposing forces stationed in the Panjshir Valley (Photo by Ahmad SAHEL ARMAN / AFP)
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The opposition front in the province of Panjshir, north-central Afghanistan, denied the Taliban’s control of the region, and confirmed the continuation of violent battles between the two parties, according to a reporter of The Eastern Herald.

Reuters news agency had quoted three sources from the Taliban earlier, on Friday, that their forces had fully taken control of Afghanistan, including the Panjshir Valley, where the opposition forces were steadfast, while heavy gunfire was heard in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

“Thank God, we are in control of the whole of Afghanistan, the rioters have been defeated, and the Panjshir is now under our command,” said a Taliban commander.

It was not immediately possible to confirm these reports.

Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, one of the leaders of the opposition forces, told “Tolo News” television station that reports of him fleeing the country were “a lie”.

On Thursday, fierce fighting erupted between the Taliban movement and its opposition forces stationed in the Panjshir Valley, after talks between them failed, according to the Voice of America.

A spokesman for the forces that bears the name of the “Afghan National Resistance Front”, Fahim Dashti, said that the front was able to repel the Taliban attack and inflict heavy losses on it.

Dashti stated that the confrontations that erupted a few days ago on 4 axes are still ongoing, adding that during the confrontations, more than 300 Taliban militants were killed and more than two hundred others were wounded, and thirty were captured, according to what was reported by The Eastern Herald correspondent.

Dashti 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. Dashti 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 correspondent.

While Taliban followers circulated on social media a video of the movement’s fighters on their way to Panshir 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 Benshir with the neighboring Gulbahar district.

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