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Afghanistan: Rebel troops clash with Taliban forces in last region to resist Islamists

Pictured: Afghan resistance fighters take up position throughout a patrol on a hilltop in Panjshir Valley, September 1, 2021

Some of the 1000’s of resistance fighters amassed in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley clashed with Taliban forces once more on Thursday, with either side claiming to have inflicted heavy casualties.

It comes after the the insurgent group – the National Resistance Front (NRF) – mentioned yesterday it had killed dozens of Taliban who tried to advance right into a slim gorge on the entrance to the valley.

Following the autumn of Kabul on August 15, a number of thousand rebels from native militias and the remnants of Afghan military and particular forces items have massed in the last province resisting Taliban rule.

The rugged snow-capped valley, which begins round 50 miles north of Kabul, is the last bastion of freedom in Afghanistan.

Under the management of Ahmad Massoud, son of a former anti-Soviet Mujahideen commander, they’ve been holding out in the province, a steep valley that makes assaults from outdoors tough and that has a fame for having by no means been taken.

The valley has a storied historical past of preventing in current years, having been used as a stronghold towards the Soviets in the Nineteen Eighties, and once more towards the Taliban in the 90s.

Efforts to negotiate a settlement between the rebels and Taliban seem to have damaged down, with either side blaming the opposite for the failure of talks as the brand new Afghan rulers ready to announce a authorities.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned the group’s fighters had entered Panjshir and brought management of some territory.

‘We began operations after negotiation with the native armed group failed,’ he mentioned. ‘They suffered heavy losses.’

However a spokesman for the NRF mentioned it had full management of all passes and entrances and had pushed again efforts to take Shotul district on the entrance to the valley. 

Panjshir Valley (pictured as resistance fighters take up position on patrol, September 1, 2021) has a storied historical past of preventing in current historical past, having been used as a stronghold towards the Soviets in the Nineteen Eighties, and once more towards the Taliban in the 90s

‘The enemy made a number of makes an attempt to enter Shotul from Jabul-Saraj, and failed every time,’ he mentioned, referring to a city in the neighbouring Parwan province.

The spokesman mentioned NRFA forces had additionally killed massive numbers of Taliban fighters on two fronts since clashes first broke out earlier in the week.

‘It has been confirmed to the opposite aspect that they can not resolve this problem by means of warfare,’ the spokesman mentioned in reference to the Taliban’s losses.

Resistance fighters in the Panjshir Valley on Wednesday scope out the roads under because the defend their homeland from the Taliban

Under the management of Ahmad Massoud, son of a former Mujahideen commander, they’ve been holding out in Panjshir Valley, a steep valley that makes assaults from outdoors tough

Pictured: A satellite tv for pc map displaying Panjshir Valley’s proximity to Kabul, which was taken by the Taliban on August 15 amid the withdrawal of US and western forces from Afghanistan

Both sides offered various figures for the opposite’s casualties, with out providing proof. It was not doable to confirm the numbers of fighters on both aspect killed.

The Taliban says the Panjshir valley is surrounded on all 4 sides and a insurgent victory is inconceivable. The rebels say they’ll refuse to give up.

The National Resistance Front (NRF), comprising an ethnic Tajik militia and former Afghan safety forces, have vowed to defend the enclave because the Islamist group say they’ve it surrounded. Between 150,000 and 200,000 reside in the valley.

The resistance yesterday mentioned that they had killed dozens of Taliban fighters in preventing round Shotul and Golbahar, villages on the southern finish of the river valley the place steep slopes present safety from invaders. 

Video confirmed explosions atop the mountains amid skirmishes between the opposing forces, whereas others confirmed militia members boasting of the variety of Taliban scalps claimed in the preventing. 

One man mentioned his males had killed eight of the terrorists round Shotul, whereas one other claimed that that they had pushed the Taliban from the Shalang Pass, one other main strategic artery by means of the region. 

Pictured, file picture: Ahmad Massoud, son of the slain hero of the anti-Soviet resistance Ahmad Shah Massoud, speaks to his supporters in Bazarak, Panjshir province, September 5, 2019

Ahmad Massoud (left), chief of the Northern Alliance and son of ‘the Lion of the Panjshir’, says that no Taliban fighter has but dared to enter the slim gorge into the valley. Massoud was solely 12 when his father, Ahmad Shah Massoud (proper), was murdered by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda community.

The Northern Alliance tweeted as we speak: ‘Don’t imagine the propaganda of enemies! All the assaults from 6 sides in Panjshir had been efficiently defended by NRF, Taliban casualties so catastrophic that they can not take all of the our bodies that mendacity across the border areas of the province. They have fashionable weapons however dumb minds.’

The Taliban earlier appealed to folks in the Panjshir to lay down their arms following an evening of fierce preventing across the valley. 

‘My brothers, we tried our greatest to remedy the Panjshir downside with talks and negotiations… however sadly all in useless,’ senior Taliban official Amir Khan Muttaqi mentioned, in an audio message to the folks of the Panjshir posted on Twitter.

‘Now that the talks have failed and Mujahiddin (Taliban) have surrounded Panjshir, there are nonetheless folks inside that do not need the issues to be solved peacefully,’ he added.

‘Now it’s up to you to speak to them,’ the Taliban message to the Panjshir folks mentioned. ‘Those who need to battle, inform them it’s sufficient.’

Bismillah Mohammadi, Afghanistan’s defence minister earlier than the federal government fell last month, mentioned the Taliban had launched a renewed assault on Panjshir on Tuesday evening.

‘Last evening the Taliban terrorists attacked Panjshir, however had been defeated,’ Mohammadi tweeted Wednesday, claiming 34 Taliban had been killed and 65 wounded.

‘Our folks mustn’t fear. They retreated with heavy casualties.’

Residents and fighters in Panjshir, a lot of whom fought the Taliban once they had been last in energy from 1996 to 2001, supplied a defiant message.

‘We are prepared to defend it until the last drop of our blood,’ mentioned one resident.

‘Everyone has a weapon on their shoulder and prepared to hearth,’ one other mentioned. ‘From the youngest to the oldest, all of them discuss resistance.’

Afghan resistance motion and anti-Taliban rebellion forces collect in Khenj District in Panjshir province on August 31

As the last US troopers boarded their flight out of Afghanistan in the Kabul darkish late Monday, residents of Panjshir mentioned the Taliban had attacked the valley on two fronts – the Khawak cross in the west, and from Shotul to the south.

‘Perhaps they wished to strive their luck,’ NRF official Fahim Dashti mentioned in a video posted Tuesday by the US broadcaster Voice of America’s Dari language service.

‘By the grace of God, luck wasn’t on their aspect.’

Dashti reported seven or eight Taliban fighters had been killed in Monday’s clashes alongside with one or two resistance fighters.

The Panjshir has immense symbolic worth in Afghanistan as the world that has resisted occupation by invaders.

‘We defended it throughout the period of the Russians, the period of the British, the earlier period of the Taliban… we’ll proceed to defend it,’ one fighter mentioned.

Ahmad Massoud, one of many NRF’s leaders, is the son of the late guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was dubbed the ‘Lion of Panjshir’ for holding out, first towards Soviet after which Taliban forces.

The valley has restricted entry factors and its geography presents a pure army benefit – defending items can use excessive positions to successfully goal attacking forces. 

Afghan resistance motion and anti-Taliban rebellion forces collect in Panjshir 

This week, Panjshir fighters held army coaching in a present of power, with males carrying heavy logs on their shoulders crossing chest-deep icy rivers.

Above their armoured autos and over their bases fluttered their flag, a problem to the Taliban’s white banner now hauled up throughout the remainder of the nation.

Many Afghans are petrified of a repeat of the Taliban’s preliminary rule from 1996 to 2001, which was notorious for his or her therapy of women and girls, in addition to a brutal justice system.

The NRF has arrange machine gun nests, mortars and surveillance posts fortified with sandbags in anticipation of a Taliban assault.

Communications are tough with the valley, with Taliban forces on three sides. Internet into Panjshir has been on and off repeatedly in current days.

Reports of preventing in the region come because the Taliban are set to unveil their new authorities as we speak. Meanwhile, the nation’s financial system teeters on the snapping point amid meals scarcity warnings.

Pictured: Taliban fighters take management of Afghan presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, after President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation, August 15, 2021. Now, Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers are set to unveil their new authorities because the nation’s financial system is on the verge of damage

The impending announcement comes greater than two weeks after the Islamist militia captured Kabul and introduced a chaotic and lethal finish to 20 years of warfare, with the Taliban now again in management of the nation as they had been from 1996 to 2001.

Taliban official Ahmadullah Muttaqi mentioned on social media a ceremony was being ready on the presidential palace in Kabul after the US withdrawal, whereas personal broadcaster TOLONews mentioned an announcement on a brand new authorities was imminent.

Meanwhile, one-third of the nation is dealing with meals insecurity and is in determined want of funds, in accordance to the World Food Programme amid warnings of a humanitarian disaster in the nation. 

The legitimacy of the brand new authorities in the eyes of worldwide donors and traders might be essential for the financial system because the nation battles drought and the ravages of a battle that took the lives of an estimated 240,000 Afghans.

But the Taliban are unlikely to get fast entry to round $10 billion of property held  overseas by the Afghan central financial institution, and are struggling to reassure banks that the financial system below the group might be absolutely practical.