Watch: Taliban raise flag over resistance stronghold Panjshir after declaring victory
The Taliban raised the group’s flag outside the Governor's office in the Annaba district of Panjshir, home of the resistance movement, after declaring the province has been captured.
Panjshir was the last part of Afghanistan where the Taliban didn’t have complete control. It was also home to the anti-Taliban movement the National Resistance Front (NRF) which mobilized under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, the slain hero of the anti-Soviet resistance Ahmad Shah Massoud.
After several days of intense fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Taliban declared victory on Monday, while the resistance denied defeat.
Massoud released an audio message in which he called for a “national uprising.”
He accused the Taliban of using “foreign mercenaries” and promised that the NRF will continue to fight.
“We request other brothers and sisters, wherever you are and with whatever means you are capable, to rise up and resist against the imposition of a servile and subjugated future in Afghanistan,” Massoud said.
He said the Taliban have “grown more vicious, more cruel, more fundamentalist and more discriminatory.”
A day earlier, Massoud had heeded a call by religious clerics to end the fighting and said he was ready to talk to the Taliban about a ceasefire, given that the group withdraw from Panjshir.
In his audio message, he accused the Taliban of discarding that resolution to end hostilities.