Fighting rages as Taliban fighters repulse attacks in Panjshir province

Taliban say talks with Massoud supporters have failed

By: News Desk      Published: 07:49 AM, 2 Sep, 2021
Fighting rages as Taliban fighters repulse attacks in Panjshir province
Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban forces take rest as they patrol on a hilltop in Darband area in Anaba district, Panjshir province.–AFP

The fighting has raged between Taliban fighters and the forces of a resistance front led by Ahmad Massoud in Panjshir province with the Taliban repulsing many attacks, reported TOLOnews.

The Taliban confirmed that the fighting has been ongoing for two days and both sides have suffered casualties.

“Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate were attacked from some circles in Panjshir who bluff and say they will resist. The Mujahideen reacted to the attack and as a result the other side has suffered heavy casualties,” said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission.

Residents near the front lines in the Nasaji-Gulbahar area, which is just outside of Panjshir Valley, say the fighting resumed Wednesday night and was still ongoing.

According to locals, most of the people have fled the area. “The fighting started at 10pm last night and is still going on,” said Baba Shirin, a resident of the area.

Members of the resistance front, meanwhile, said that they pushed back the Taliban attack on Panjshir and that the Taliban have suffered heavy casualties.

“In the past 40 hours the Taliban launched some offensives on Khawak from the Andarab Valley of Baghlan. From our side, there were local forces of various districts of Andarab, local forces of Panjshir as well as the ANSDF forces. They fought back very well; they defeated the Taliban on that front. The Taliban lost 40 of their personnel, another 35 of them were wounded,” said Fahim Dashti, a spokesman of the resistance front.

The Taliban denied attacking Panjshir, saying that their forces were attacked by Massoud supporters and that they only responded to the attack.

Amid the ongoing fighting, Amir Khan Muttaqi, a Taliban leader, said on Wednesday that the talks between both sides have failed so far. He, however, said that the Taliban still wanted to resolve the issue peacefully.

Taliban to unveil new govt soon 

The Taliban said that the discussions held on forming a new government have been finalized and they will soon make an announcement.

Anamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said that Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban, will also be the leader of the new government.

“Consultations are almost finalized on the new government, and the necessary discussions have also been held about the cabinet. The Islamic government that we will announce will be a ... model for the people. There is no doubt about the presence of the Commander of the Faithful (Akhunzada) in the government. He will be the leader of the government and there should be no question on this,” Samangani said.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports indicate that there will also be a prime minister post in the next government.

“The name of the new system should be neither republic nor emirate. It should be something like an Islamic government. Hebatullah should be at the top of the government, and he will not be the president. He will be the leader of Afghanistan. Below him there will be a prime minister or a president that will work under his oversight,” said Mohammad Hasan Haqyar, a political analyst.

The Taliban have already appointed governors, police chiefs and police commanders for provinces and districts.

“The Islamic Emirate is active in each province. There is a governor in each province who has started working. There is a district governor for each district and a police chief in each province who are working for the people,” said Abdul Hanan Haqqani, a member of the Taliban.

Although the Taliban say consultations are finalized on forming the new government, public discussions have not been held over the system’s name, the national flag or national anthem.