The Taliban claimed victory on Monday over opposition forces in the Panjshir valley northeast of Kabul, completing their takeover of the country following the stunning capture of Kabul last month and the chaotic withdrawal of foreign troops.
“With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war,” Mujahid said.
“Panjshir province completely fell to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the extremist group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on Monday, adding that some enemy fighters had been killed in battle and others had fled.
Pictures on social media showed Taliban members standing in front of the gate of the Panjshir provincial governor’s compound after fighting over the weekend with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA), led by Panjshiri leader Ahmad Massoud.
The anti-Taliban resistance force in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley vowed Monday to carry on fighting, after the Taliban said they had captured the area.
The National Resistance Front said it was present in “strategic positions” across the valley, adding “the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue.”
The Taliban assured the people of Panjshir, who are ethnically distinct from the Pashtun-dominated Taliban and fought against the extremist group during their 1996-2001 rule, that there would be no “discriminatory act against them.”
“They are our brothers and would work together for a joint purpose and welfare of the country,” Mujahid said.
There was no immediate word from Massoud, who leads a force made up of remnants of regular Afghan army and special forces units as well as local militia fighters.