TALIBAN are set to bombard the Lions of Panjshir resistance with suicide bombers in a bloody battle during the last area holding out in opposition to the extremist group.
Resistance fighters in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley mentioned Friday they have been battling to repulse “heavy” assaults.
Resistance fighters Panjshir Valley mentioned they have been battling to repulse “heavy” assaultsCredit score: AFP
Taliban are set to bombard the Lions of Panjshir resistance with suicide bombersCredit score: AFP
Efforts to strike a peace deal between the 2 sides have failed, and the Taliban search to seize the final holdout province since they seized management of the remainder of Afghanistan in August.
“The Taliban have a big benefit,” mentioned Nishank Motwani, an Afghan analyst primarily based in Australia, saying the Islamists have been emboldened by their current victories.
“They’re very nicely armed, and so they have the psychological issue of their favour in that they precipitated the autumn of the federal government so shortly.”
The Taliban seized an infinite arsenal of weapons and army package that the now departed US offered to the defeated Afghan military, in addition to the assist of prisoners they free of jails.
“The Taliban even have shock troops, together with the usage of suicide techniques,” Motwani added.
Fighters from the Nationwide Resistance Entrance (NRF), made up of anti-Taliban militia fighters and former Afghan safety forces, are understood to have vital weapon stockpiles too within the valley, which lies round 50 miles north of Kabul.
1000’s of anti-Taliban fighters have gathered within the 1,400 sq. mile bastion – and have grow to be often known as the “Lions of Panjshir.”
They’re one of many last pockets of organised resistance for the reason that Taliban steamrolled to energy after the US withdrawal.
On Wednesday, senior Taliban official Amir Khan Muttaqi issued an audio message to say their forces had surrounded the valley, calling on the individuals of the Panjshir to inform fighters to put down their arms.
“Those that wish to battle, inform them it’s sufficient,” Muttaqi mentioned.
However many Afghans are afraid of a repeat of the Taliban’s harsh rule from 1996 to 2001.
HEAVY FIGHTING IN PANJSHIR
The brand new rulers have pledged this time they are going to be extra accommodating, however many in Panjshir are deeply sceptical.
Hours after their warning, Taliban forces launched renewed assaults together with from the south of Panjshir from Kapisa, in addition to from the Khawak cross to the west of the valley.
Each side have claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on their rivals however communications are troublesome within the valley amid the combating.
A spokesman for the NRF, Ali Maisam Nazary, mentioned on Friday there had been extra assaults by Taliban forces in a single day.
“There may be heavy combating in Panjshir,” Nazary mentioned. “He (Massoud) is busy defending the valley.”
Massoud is the son of the late guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, dubbed the “Lion of Panjshir” for holding out first in opposition to Soviet after which Taliban forces once they have been energy earlier than.
In a press release Wednesday he mentioned that the Taliban had provided them “one or two seats” of their new administration, however he had rejected the deal.
“The Taliban have chosen the trail of struggle,” Massoud mentioned.
The 70-mile-long valley surrounded by jagged snow-capped peaks gives a pure army benefit, since defending items can use excessive positions to ambush attacking forces under.
However the battle seems to be escalating, Martine van Bijlert, of the Afghanistan Analysts Community, warned.
The Taliban have chosen the trail of struggle
“Taliban forces have been massing across the entrance to the valley however have been hit in ambushes and have sustained casualties,” he wrote in a current evaluation.
“Whereas each side primarily gave the impression to be making an attempt to harm one another with the intention to strengthen their hand in negotiations, with out beginning an all-out battle, in accordance with the newest stories, the Taliban are actually summoning forces from different provinces.”
In the meantime, sources declare Mullah Baradar will grow to be the chief of Afghanistan’s new authorities, stories Sky News.
Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai are additionally anticipated to take senior roles within the authorities.
The Panjshir — primarily inhabited by ethnic Tajik individuals — has immense symbolic worth in Afghanistan as the realm that has resisted occupation by invaders previously.
For Afghans against the Taliban, the holdout province stands as a logo to point out the hardline Islamists will not be the welcome rulers of all Afghanistan, Motwani mentioned.
“It provides hope to these Afghans who’ve misplaced virtually every little thing in a blink of a watch,” he mentioned. “It’s someplace the place individuals can go exterior Taliban rule.”
Taliban search to seize the final holdout province in AfghanistanCredit score: AFP
Ahmad Shah Massoud, dubbed the “Lion of Panjshir” for holding out first in opposition to SovietCredit score: Rex
The resistance fighters coaching for battle
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