The Taliban-resistant forces in Panjshir over the Western region of Afghanistan clashed with Taliban fighters on Monday night, Aug. 30, killing multiple members of the militant group.
The Taliban launched an attack on the western entrance to the valley against NRF (National Resistance Forces) positions on Monday, per Reuters, and they had to retreat with heavy casualties.
Panjshir has been the sole province to hold out against the Taliban and stands free of its control after the fall of Kabul on Aug. 15, despite clashes between Taliban and local militia forces in neighboring Baghlan province, according to the outlet.
The Monday clash cost the Taliban at least seven members killed and many others wounded. Only two NRF fighters were injured.
The anti-Taliban force in Panjshir is led by Ahmad Massoud, son of “Panjshir lion” Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001)—the late illustrious leader of the Tajik community who confronted the Taliban in the 1990s.
Fahim Dashty, the spokesperson for Ahmad Massoud, told India Today that there had been three attacks led by the Taliban against NRF, and in total “lots of casualties from Taliban side, at least 30 killed and around 15 injured while a few have been captured.”
“Also, there were some military equipment which was captured by our forces. But, the war is going on and our forces are fully prepared,” Dashty added.
He told the outlet the NRF was not just standing for Panjshir; their hearts stand for the whole nation.
“We are fighting for the whole of Afghanistan and not just for one province,” Dashty told India Today. “We are concerned about the rights of Afghans, of women, of minorities. The Taliban has to assure equality and rights.”
Reuters, however, reported that Massoud had been in negotiation with the Taliban for settlement but vowed to respond accordingly if the Taliban attack their territory.
Forces in Panjshir were joined by multiple Taliban opponents, including Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president of Afghanistan.
The Taliban cut down internet connections in Panjshir on Sunday to prevent Saleh from giving his remarks on Twitter. With the former president Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country on Aug. 15, Saleh had declared himself caretaker president of Afghanistan in his absence.
Meanwhile, on Aug. 31, the Taliban was hailing their victory over the country after the last U.S. troops had departed Kabul airport.