Panjshir Valley, a mountainous, inaccessible area north of Kabul, is the final main holdout towards Taliban rule, and has an extended historical past of resisting the rebel group.
Sporadic combating between the Taliban and the Nationwide Resistance Entrance (NRF) has continued for 2 weeks now. The Taliban have been massing forces in and round Panjshir province in current weeks, and mentioned on Monday they’d captured three districts within the valley.
The in a single day clashes between the Taliban and the Nationwide Resistance Entrance of Afghanistan (NRF) began late Thursday, and had been very intense, mentioned the NRF supply.
“They (Taliban) are utilizing their final energy to get in, however clashes are nonetheless ongoing,” the supply added.
Earlier on Thursday, Fahim Dashti, an NRF spokesperson, mentioned in an audio message that the Taliban misplaced 40 of their forces of their ongoing makes an attempt to enter Panjshir. Ali Nazary, one other spokesperson from the group, mentioned Thursday that the Taliban had additionally misplaced a variety of heavy gear and weaponry that had been destroyed.
CNN has not independently verified the Taliban casualties.
Individually, a Taliban supply offered movies purportedly of combating and the aftermath. CNN couldn’t instantly confirm the situation or when the movies had been filmed.
On Wednesday, a Taliban chief referred to as on Panjshiris to simply accept an amnesty and keep away from combating, however acknowledged that negotiations had to this point yielded no outcome. He mentioned the scenario “needs to be resolved peacefully,” however didn’t immediately deal with the claims of renewed combating and casualties.
The Panjshir Valley is the epicenter of Afghan guerrilla warfare, and has lengthy withstood international occupation, from the British Empire’s military to Soviet forces and the Taliban.
The rugged, inaccessible panorama performs an element in its defensive success, giving native forces a bonus over would-be invaders.
After the USSR, which managed Kabul and huge swaths of the nation within the Eighties, withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, numerous factions of mujahedeen — or Islamic holy warriors — break up into teams, combating for management of the nation.
The Northern Alliance — now a important part of the NRF — was shaped, led by Ahmad Shah Massoud, who managed to maintain the Panjshir Valley freed from the Taliban’s grip all through its five-year rule. He led an anti-Taliban offensive till he was assassinated by al Qaeda operatives two days earlier than the September 11, 2001 assaults.
The coalition, and the broader NRF, is now led by Massoud’s son, Ahmad Massoud, who has vowed to proceed the combat towards the Taliban within the wake of their close to takeover of Afghanistan.
Massoud and the NRF are actually gathering anti-Taliban forces within the Panjshir Valley, which embody native resistance forces in addition to remnants of the previous Afghan military.
Individuals fleeing the Taliban, together with the previous Afghan Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, have additionally sought refuge within the Valley.
He added that he and the NRF had been nonetheless attempting to barter with the Taliban — however up to now, that dialogue “hasn’t resulted in something tangible.” Talks have been happening within the metropolis of Charika, the capital of the neighboring Parwan province.
“Negotiations have their limits,” he mentioned, quoting a outstanding Prussian navy basic. “Struggle is the continuation of politics, and if we face aggression we might be pressured to combat and launch resistance to defend our land, folks, and values.”