Afghanistan: What We Know About Ongoing Fighting in Panchir Valley

It is one of the last areas that still escaped control over Afghanistan. The Taliban faces significant resistance in the Panchir Valley. Struggles that could explain Theannounced the postponement, on Saturday, 4 September, of the presentation of a new executive by the Taliban, initially scheduled for Friday. Franceinfo explains what we know about armed clashes in this province.

One of the last hotbeds of opposition to the Taliban

The Panchir Valley, north of Kabul, is one of the smallest provinces in Afghanistan and the only one that has not fallen into Taliban hands. A former anti-Taliban stronghold, this landlocked and difficult-to-access valley, located about 80 kilometers from the capital, has been the scene since the last US troops left the country on Aug. 31 of fighting between Taliban and Taliban forces. the National Resistance Front (FNR).

A resistance led by the son of Commander Massoud

Resistance is organized around the FNR, led by Ahmad massoud, son of the late commander Ahmed Shah massoud. The vice president Amrullah Saleh also took refuge there.

Composed of militia fighters anti-talibans and former members of the Afghan security forces, this resistance has vowed to resist any offensive by the country’s new lords, while leaving the door open for negotiations if the fundamentalist movement ends its offensives. Amrullah Saleh evoked a “very difficult situation” in a video message posted on Twitter on Friday, ensuring that the “continuous strength[ait] and keeps going[rait]”.

Intense fight since the departure of American troops

In recent weeks, the Taliban have sent hundreds of men into areas around Panchir. Monday night, Aug. 30, as the last US military plane was about to take off from Kabul, a Taliban offensive was carried out against the valley, according to resistance members. “Perhaps they wanted to risk attacking the Panchir. By the grace of God, luck was not on their side. (…). Our compatriots need not worry “FNR member Fahim Dashti said in a video released Tuesday by voice of america (article in English).

According to him, seven or eight Taliban were killed in the fighting, as well as one or two fighters in the ranks of the FNR. The Taliban did not comment on the attack, which residents said was carried out on several fronts, including from the Col de Khawak to the west and south. The next day, a second offensive, this time bloodier, was carried out, according to Bismillah Mohammad, former Minister of Defense. A total of 34 Taliban were killed and 65 wounded, he said on Twitter on Wednesday.

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On Wednesday, September 1, the Taliban called in fighters from the panchir to lower your arms to avoid a bloody war. “My brothers, we have been doing our best to resolve the Panchir problem through talks and negotiations, unfortunately without success.”said a senior Taliban official Amir Khan Muttaqi, in an audio message addressed to the valley’s inhabitants and posted on Twitter. “Now that negotiations have failed and the Mujahedin [talibans] surrounded the Panchir, there are still people inside [de la vallée] who don’t want problems to be resolved peacefully., he added. It’s up to you to talk to them. FOR those who want to fight, tell them that this enough. “

Taliban promised government seats, FNR says

According to Ahmad massoud, the Taliban proposed to allocate two seats for the FNR in the government they wish to create. We didn’t even consider their offer “, he explained, believing the Taliban had “chose the path of war”. The FNR it had previously specified that it was ready to resist any Taliban aggression, but also to negotiate with the latter the formation of an inclusive government. “Our message to the Taliban is that we want peace”, a resistance fighter reaffirmed Wednesday. Corn “If they don’t accept peace and enter by force, the battlefield will be there to receive them.

Deadly Celebrations After Taliban Victory Rumors

In Kabul on Friday night, gusts rang out, fired to commemorate the Taliban’s victory at the Panchir that rumors, especially on social media, are said to have acquired. But the Taliban made no official announcements and resistance leaders in the valley denied Reuters that they had lost control of the province.

According to the capital’s emergency services, two people died and another 20 were injured in the gunshots. For its part, the Reuters agency, citing Afghan television Shamshad, reported on Saturday at least 17 people were killed in a shootout during the celebrations in Kabul. At least 14 people were also injured in gay gunfire in Jalalabad, in the east, according to a hospital spokesman, questioned by Reuters.

Excesses that led the main Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, to urge his supporters to stop “shoot in the air” is for “thank God instead”. “Bullets can injure civilians, don’t shoot unnecessarily”, he posted on Twitter.

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