Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed tweets that the last province has fallen. The National Resistance Front denies it, claiming to still control certain strategic areas. A new government has not yet been named.
Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed announced on Twitter that this morning “Panjshir province, the last stronghold of the mercenary enemy, was completely conquered.”
Afghanistan’s new masters now claim to control all 34 provinces of the country. At a press conference, Mujahed said the “War is ended,” Tolo News reported.
The Taliban’s main opposition, the National Resistance Front (NRF), issued a statement denying that the Taliban have total control of the Panjshir.
An NRF spokesman, Ali Nazari, told CNN that opposition forces remain in control of some strategic areas of the valley, and will continue their fight against Islamic extremists.
The leader of the Panjshir fighters, Ahmad Massoud, did not release any statements. Yesterday he had appealed to the Taliban to end hostilities, declaring himself willing to end fighting if the Taliban left Panjshir.
According to the Taliban, NRF leaders have already fled abroad, noting that yesterday they killed NRF spokesman Fahim Dashti, a member of the Djamiat-i-Islam party, which opposes the Taliban.
In a video posted on telegram, the Taliban also claim to have seized the mausoleum of the “Lion of Panjshir" Ahmad Shah Massoud, father of the current NRF commander, located near the city of Bazarak, the capital of Panjshir province. The video shows no NRF fighters at the site.
Notwithstanding claims of victory and post-war stability, a climate of great uncertainty reigns in the country, not only because of the active resistance in the Panjshir.
Three weeks after the fall of Kabul, and despite statements about the imminent announcement of a new government, the various groups within the Taliban are still at an impasse, especially along tribal lines.
Initially, the new government was supposed to include members of the Coordination Council, chiefly Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, created to coordinate the transition of power. Now the latter seem to have disappeared.
The only two names that seem safe for now are “Supreme Leader” Hibatullah Akhundzada, and spokesman Abdul Ghani Baradar, who have de facto ruled the country since 15 August.