Taliban claims they took Panjshir, last holdout Afghan provincetext_fields
Kabul: The Taliban proclaimed on Monday that they had captured the last area to cover in Afghanistan, Panjshir Valley, reports Agence France-Presse. After their announcement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that their "victory" had pulled Afghanistan out of the swamps of war.
However, the anti-Taliban group, National Resistance Front (NRF), who had put up the resistance in the area, said that the fight against the Taliban would continue. The NRF had acknowledged sustaining big losses in Panjshir and called ceasefire late on Sunday.
In a tweet, they said Fahim Dashty, their spokesperson and a journalist, and General Abdul Wudod Zara were killed on the battlefield. The NRF, though vowed to fight the Taliban, said that it was willing to negotiate with the latter.
The NRF is the host of local fighters loyal to Ahmad Massoud, son of famous anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, and remnants of the Afghan military from Panjshir valley. The valley is renowned for its resistance against Soviet forces in the 1980s and the Taliban during their last rule.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will speak with Qatar and Turkey about the need of reopening Kabul's airport for further evacuations and bringing humanitarian aids. He will also land at Germany's Ramstein US airbase and will have a virtual 20-nation ministerial meeting on the crisis.
Qatar has hosted 55,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan, while Ramstein airbase of Germany stays host for another thousand.