The Taliban intensified the offensive in Panjshir, the only Afghan province not yet under their control

A member of the Taliban security forces stands guard in the crowd. Afghanistan, September 4, 2021. REUTERS

The Taliban intensified this Saturday the offensive in Panjshir, the only province of the 34 in Afghanistan that has not completely fallen into their power, and managed to take control of four of the eight districts of the region, given the weakness of the opposition troops.

The Islamist formation affirmed this Saturday that they have already captured half of the districts of the northern province of Panjshir, and that 90 percent of a fifth district is under its control after intensifying attacks against opposition troops in recent days.

In the last 24 hours, “Several commanders (and) dozens of militiamen and soldiers” died and “a large number of their checkpoints and bases have been captured by our mujahideen”, he assured the news agency Efe the spokesman for the Taliban, Bilal Karimi.

Illustrative file photo of men preparing to defend their territory from the Taliban advance in Panjshir, Afghanistan Aug 22, 2021. Aamaj News Agency via REUTERS
Illustrative file photo of men preparing to defend their territory from the Taliban advance in Panjshir, Afghanistan Aug 22, 2021. Aamaj News Agency via REUTERS

“Our mujahideen are advancing towards the center of Panjshir and the enemy is in a panic. Some of them have already started to surrender to our mujahideen. “, so “we hope that the remaining parts of Panjshir will be captured soon,” he concluded.

In the midst of the strong offensive of the Taliban against the the only territory that has not fallen into their hands, the situation in the valley is “hard”, as explained to Efe by a member of the Afghan resistance who requested anonymity.

“Thousands of Taliban rushed into the province from all directions, from all the neighboring provinces, and the forces of resistance are under unprecedented pressure“, Held.

Resistance difficulties

The region faces great difficulties since the Taliban decided to attack Panjshir after the failure of the peace negotiations., so they do not have exact information on the advances of the Taliban or the capture of districts, since the telecommunications system is completely down and it is almost impossible to coordinate the informationadded.

(@AsvakaNews)
(@AsvakaNews)

The combatants suspended mobile phone and Internet services and cut off all supply routes to the province in order to expedite their surrender., an issue that has begun to generate concern about the humanitarian situation that could unfold in the region.

We hope that civilians in the area (Panjshir) will be treated based on humanitarian laws and that they will not be injured in the fighting. “, said the former Afghan Foreign Minister on his official Twitter account, Haneef Atmar.

In this sense, the former minister called that both parties to the conflict be patient and “allow the negotiating teams to address the problem peacefully”.

09-09-2011 Anti-Taliban militiamen in Panjshir province ASIA POLITICS AFGHANISTAN JOHN MOORE
09-09-2011 Anti-Taliban militiamen in Panjshir province ASIA POLITICS AFGHANISTAN JOHN MOORE

After almost 20 days since the Taliban conquered in just over two weeks 33 of the 34 Afghan provincial capitals, including Kabul on August 15, Panjshir is today the only one that is not under the control of the Islamists.

The forces of the latter bastion are led by the former Afghan Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, self-proclaimed new president of Afghanistan after former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country during the takeover of Kabul, and Ahmad Massoud, son of the late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, “the lion of Panjshir”, a legend for having stood up to the Soviets and the Taliban.

Panjshir was also the center of resistance against the Islamist group during the former Taliban regime, between 1996 and 2001, which ended with a US invasion that came to an end just this week after almost two decades of war.

(With information from EFE)

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