Afghanistan: Taliban claims to have ‘completely captured’ Panjshir Valley

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The Taliban declared on Monday that it has fully seized control of Panjshir province, the last to resist it.

According to reports, several leaders of Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front, including spokesperson Fahim Dashti, have been murdered.

Earlier, the opposition front’s head stated that he is open to a diplomatic deal with the Taliban to halt the war.

Ahmad Massoud has stated that he is ready for a settlement

The announcement was made on the resistance front’s Facebook page by Ahmad Massoud, the group’s leader.

“The NRF in principle agrees to solve the current problems and put an immediate end to the fighting and continue negotiations,” he added.

Local media previously claimed that religious scholars had asked the Taliban to reach a deal and halt the violence in Panjshir.

Massoud has requested a meeting with religious academics

“To reach a lasting peace, the NRF is ready to stop fighting on condition that Taliban also stop their attacks and military movements on Panjshir and Andarab,” the statement said.

Andarab is a district in Baghlan’s bordering province.

Massoud went on to say that once the requirement is met, a high-level conference with the council of religious experts may be conducted.

In the battle of Panjshir, both sides claimed victory

The Taliban claimed to have taken control of the Valley after entering the provincial seat of Panjshir.

Leaders of the resistance, on the other hand, had rejected the allegation, claiming that they had the upper hand in the conflict.

The NRF recently reported that nearly 700 Taliban fighters had been killed, with another 600 arrested and imprisoned.

Panjshir is well-known as an anti-Taliban stronghold

Heavy battle has raged in Panjshir for several weeks, with both sides suffering hundreds of casualties, according to sources.

The Valley, surrounded by mountains and home to an estimated 200,000 people, has long been a bastion for anti-Taliban forces.

It had previously fought both the Soviet invasion and the previous Taliban administration, which reigned from 1996 to 2001.

Disagreements amongst groups are preventing the establishment of a government

On August 15, the Taliban captured Kabul as former President Ashraf Ghani fled. The organization, however, has yet to create a government. According to reports, the delay is due to conflicts between groups commanded by deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the Haqqani brothers.