Taliban claim control of eight districts in Panjshir, Massoud says he’s ready for talks


The Taliban on Sunday said that they have taken control of all districts in Panjshir province, a claim that has been denied by resistance forces, according to a media report on Sunday.

Deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural affairs commission Ahmadullah Wasiq said that fighting between Taliban fighters and the Resistance Front was ongoing in central Panjshir, TOLO News reported on Sunday. Ahmadullah Wasiq said, “Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate has an active presence in all districts and areas of Panjshir.”

All areas are under Mujahideen control. “Only in the central bazaar of Panjshir has there been resistance,” TOLO News quoted him as saying.

The Taliban also claimed that heavy equipment of the resistance forces has fallen. One of the Taliban commanders, Maulvi Sakhi Dad Mujmar said: “Several cannons were seized from the enemy.”

However, the leader of the Resistance Front denied the Taliban’s claim in a tweet, saying that the resistance forces had re-captured the Parian district of Panjshir from the Taliban on Sunday and had inflicted heavy casualties on the Taliban, reported TOLO News.

Fahim Dashti, spokesperson for the Resistance Front said that at least a thousand terrorists were trapped due to the blockade of the exit route, all the attackers were killed, surrendered or captured by the resistance fighters with the help of the locals during the retreat. “Most of those arrested are foreigners and most are Pakistanis.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA) which is holding out against the Taliban’s takeover of the country, said he was ready for peace talks if the insurgents would withdraw their forces from Panjshir and Andarab.

“The National Resistance Front is ready to stop the war immediately in order to achieve stable peace, if the Taliban group ends its military attacks and movements in Panjshir and Andarab,” Ahmad Massoud said in a statement.

“The National Resistance Front is committed to peacefully resolving differences with the Taliban in accordance with the principles of religion and morality, and is confident that the future system of the country will work with the Taliban and other groups and sects representing the Afghan people,” he further stated.

The Taliban and the NRFA have been locked in battle in the Panjshir valley over the past week, with each side claiming the upper hand. While the Taliban said they have captured key districts, resistance forces said they killed over 1,000 militant fighters and pushed them back on several fronts.

Former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who is helping lead the resistance forces, has appealed for humanitarian aid to help the thousands of people displaced by the fighting. He had recently accused the Taliban of cutting off humanitarian aid, medicines and power supply to Panjshir.