Located near the Panjshir Valley, the Taliban had recaptured three districts in northern Afghanistan held by local militias last week, a spokesman said Monday, although there were no confirmed reports of further fighting.
Bano, Deh Saleh and Pul e-Hesar districts in northern Baghlan province were seized by local militias last week as one of the first signs of armed resistance against the Taliban since their capture of the capital, Kabul on Aug. 15.
On Monday, Taliban forces had cleared the districts and were located in Badakhshan, Takhar and Andarab near the Panjshir Valley, according to spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s Twitter account.
Forces loyal to Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, have established themselves in his stronghold, Panjshir, which opposed both the Soviets and the Taliban before 2001.
Massoud, whose forces include remnants of the regular army and special forces, has called for negotiations to form an inclusive government for Afghanistan but has pledged to resist if Taliban forces attempt to enter the valley north of Kabul. to come.
Late Sunday, the Taliban’s Alemarah Information Service said hundreds of fighters were on their way to Panjshir. There is no confirmation of fighting, but an aide to Massoud said both sides were ready for military action.
Zabihullah Mujahid said the Salang Pass, on the main road running north from southern Afghanistan, was open and enemy forces were blocked in the Panjshir Valley. But his statement suggested there was no fighting at this time.
“The Islamic Emirate is trying to resolve the problems peacefully,” Zabihullah said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)