(Dubai) The Taliban announced on Sunday that “hundreds” of their fighters were heading for the Panchir Valley northeast of Kabul, one of the few areas of Afghanistan still outside the control of the Islamist group.
Posted on Aug 22, 2021 at 1:13 PM updated at 1:38 PM
“Hundreds of mujahideen in the Islamic emirate are moving to Panchir state to control it after local officials refused to surrender it peacefully,” the Taliban said on their Arab Twitter account.
The Taliban entered the capital Kabul on August 15 without much resistance after a lightning offensive that began in May with the start of the withdrawal of American and NATO forces.
In the Panchir Valley, long known as the anti-Taliban stronghold, a nose of resistance has formed. This National Resistance Front (FNR) is led in particular by Ahmad Massoud, the son of commandant Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was murdered in 2001 by the jihadist group Al-Qaeda.
An FNR spokesman said the front was preparing for a “prolonged conflict” with the Taliban if they failed to negotiate with them to form an inclusive government.
According to this official, Ali Maisam Nazary, thousands of Afghans have joined the Panchir Valley to fight the new regime.
Photos taken by AFP during training exercises show armored vehicles driving through the valley northeast of Kabul.
“The Taliban will not last if they continue like this. We are ready to defend Afghanistan and warn of a bloodbath, ”Massoud told Al-Arabiya on Sunday.