Taliban attacks on Afghan province – Battles in the Panjsjir Valley: is the resistance on the verge of defeat?

Only one province in Afghanistan is not yet controlled by the Taliban. But for five days the Islamists have been attacking the Punjir Valley. The leader of a resistance group does not want to give up. 

The leader of a resistance faction against the radical Islamic Taliban in Afghanistan wants to keep fighting. “We will never give up the fight for God, freedom and justice,” said Achmad Massud on his Facebook page on Saturday  . For five days now, there have been skirmishes between the Taliban and fighters from the National Resistance Front around Punjir, the only province in the country that the Taliban have not yet controlled.

Originally, both sides had said that they wanted to resolve the open question of power through negotiations. A spokesman for the National Resistance Front wrote on Twitter this week  that the Taliban had offered Massoud a post in the future government and the protection of his property. However, he refused and justified this with the fact that he was not pursuing any personal interests. So far there have been no statements from the  Taliban  .

The fighting is likely to have intensified recently

According to a spokesman for the resistance front, the fighting began on Tuesday with Taliban attacks on checkpoints at the entrance to the Punjir Valley. The fighting is likely to have intensified recently. Both sides said they inflicted heavy casualties on the other side. On Saturday night, Taliban supporters spread rumors on Twitter that Punjir had fallen and the resistance leadership had fled.

The previous Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is said to be in Punjir himself, immediately denied this. The situation is difficult, but “we have defended our country,” he said in a video message shared by local TV station ToloNews on Twitter. Massoud also wrote on Facebook that the Punjir Valley had “remained steadfast so far”.

Punjir could not be conquered by the Taliban during their first rule between 1996 and 2001. In addition to the bitter resistance of the Northern Alliance, this was also due to the geographical location – the entrance to the valley is narrow and easy to defend.

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