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Taliban tighten control over Panjshir with killings, food restrictions: Report

Published: Updated:

The Taliban fighters are tightening their control over Panjshir region by denying residents food and executing civilians, witnesses told the Washington Post.

The witnesses told the Washington Post the Taliban killed at least eight civilians who were “neither supporters of the resistance or the Taliban.”

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The group announced last week that Panjshir, the last stronghold of the anti-Taliban resistance movement National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), was under the group’s control.

However, resistance leader Ahmad Massoud insisted the fight continued and called for a national uprising.

Massoud’s calls were met with protests across the country in support of his movement.

But the Taliban outlawed the protests, and the UN said the group was violent in its efforts to disperse them.

UN rights spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, said the Taliban responded with live ammunition, batons and whips and caused the deaths of at least four protesters.

Since seizing control of Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban mounted a charm offensive to rehabilitate their hardline image from their 1996-2001 era.

However, activists and journalists say the reality on the ground is quite different.

And women activists and former female political leaders said they expected to be treated as “second class” citizens at best.

When the Taliban announced their cabinet earlier this week, it was all male and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was disbanded.

The group has also been retaliating against journalists, with Reporters Without Borders saying women journalists are in the process of “disappearing” from Kabul.

Also, an Afghan news outlet said two of its journalists were severely beaten with whips by the Taliban for covering the protests. Pictures on social media showed their backs and legs covered in bruises and blood-red welts.

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