Kabul (AP) – The leader of a resistance faction against the Taliban in Afghanistan has shown himself ready to negotiate a solution to end the fighting with the Islamist militants.
Akhmad Massoud said on Sunday that the National Resistance Front (NRF) was ready to end the war immediately if the Taliban ended their attacks in Punjir. The NRF is working to resolve conflicts with the Taliban peacefully. We aspire to a political agreement in which all social groups are represented.
For days, there have been skirmishes between the Taliban and National Resistance Front fighters around Penjir, the only province in the country that the Taliban does not yet control. There was initially no reaction from the Taliban group, which is leading the attack on Punjir, to Masud’s statement.
Much of the information provided by both parties contradicts each other and cannot be independently verified. Clearly, the Taliban had recently advanced further into the Penjir Valley. The Italian humanitarian organization Emergency, which operates a hospital and maternity hospital in the valley, announced on Twitter that the Islamists had reached the village of Anabah on Saturday evening, located about 30 minutes from the provincial capital Basarak.
Islamists said on Sunday that six of the Penjir’s seven districts are already under their control. Resisters said on Sunday that the Parjan district, at the bottom of the valley, had been completely freed from Taliban fighters.
At the entrance to the valley, the Taliban were surrounded after part of a mountain exploded. About 1,000 assailants were killed or captured. A former provincial parliamentarian, Sal Mohammed Salmai Noori, said there was fighting in Parjan and Shutul – a district at the start of the valley. Everything else is under the control of the resistance.
The Pandjir could not be captured by the Taliban during their first reign between 1996 and 2001. In addition to the fierce resistance of the so-called Northern Alliance, this was also due to the geographical location: the entry of the valley is narrow and easy to defend.