Taliban completely captures Panjshir province: spokesman

(Xinhua) 15:11, September 06, 2021

KABUL, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Taliban armed forces have seized eastern Panjshir province following heavy fightings on Monday, gaining control over the last province of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed.

"Our latest efforts to bring peace to the entire country succeeded as the Panjshir province is completely conquered and came under the control of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Mujahid wrote on Twitter.

Mujahid added that the Taliban forces attacked and eliminated scores of resistance forces in Panjshir on Sunday night, while dozens fled after Taliban advances in the mountainous valley.

The Taliban spokesman said that the Panjshir people "would not encounter any discrimination" and no one would face persecution.

"We assure the Panjshir people that they are our brothers and together we will work for one country and for a common goal," he said.

In the meantime, the so-called National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) led by Ahmad Massoud denied the Taliban's claim.

"Taliban's claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight," a media section of the NRF tweeted.

On Sunday, Massoud said that they would engage in negotiation talks if the Taliban stops advancing to the Panjshir mountainous valley.

Fahim Dashti, a known Afghan journalist and NRF spokesman, and a former army General Abdul Wadoud Zarra, were killed during fighting with the Taliban forces in Panjshir on Sunday.

Panjshir, some 200 km in the north of Kabul, is the last province in Afghanistan uncontrolled by the Taliban since the U.S. troop's pullout from the Central Asian country in late August. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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