Fighting rages in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley

Heavy fighting continues between the Taliban and resistance forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley as the armed group tries to seize the last holdout province.

Resistance fighters said on Sunday that they captured hundreds of Taliban troops as well as their equipment and vehicles.

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The Taliban has said its forces had fought their way into the provincial capital of Panjshir after securing the surrounding districts.

Meanwhile, Mark Milley, the top US general, said Afghanistan will “likely” erupt in civil war if the Taliban is not able to establish control, warning that a broad civil war could lead to a resurgence of “terrorist” groups.

Alongside a large haul of American-made infantry weapons, Afghanistan’s new rulers now possess Humvees, armoured personnel carriers, and at least one functioning Black Hawk helicopter.

The leader of the Afghan opposition group resisting Taliban forces in the Panjshir Valley has said he has welcomed proposals from religious scholars for a negotiated settlement to end the fighting.

Ahmad Massoud, head of the National Resistance Front (NRF) of Afghanistan made the announcement on the group’s Facebook page. Earlier, Taliban forces said they had fought their way into the provincial capital of Panjshir after securing the surrounding districts.

“The NRF in principle agrees to solve the current problems and put an immediate end to the fighting and continue negotiations,” Massoud said in the Facebook post.

“To reach a lasting peace, the NRF is ready to stop fighting on condition that Taliban also stops their attacks and military movements on Panjshir and Andarab,” he said, referring to a district in the neighbouring province of Baghlan.

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