In an ominous end to Afghanistan‘s resistance, the Taliban have successfully taken over few territories of Panjshir Valley — the last bastion of the war-torn nation untouched by the hardliners — inflicting massive damage and casualties on the Resistance Force led by caretaker President Amrullah Saleh who is safe after bombardment at the house where he was staying but has been moved to an undisclosed location.
Several top commanders of the Resistance Force, including spokesperson Fahim Dashti and others like Gul Haider Khan, Munib Amiri and Wadood, a nephew of Ahmad Shah Massoud, have been killed.
Dashti was a spokesman of the Resistance Front, a senior member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party and a member of the Federation of Afghan Journalists.
(From left) Fahim Dashti, General Wadood and Munib Amiri of the Resistance Force were killed during battle with the Taliban. (News18)
Sources in the Islamist militia said that the group have seized the valley north of Kabul after a heavy fight. Sources said the house where Saleh was staying was bombarded by Taliban helicopters. He is, however, safe at an undisclosed location.
Deafening volleys of celebratory gunfire resounded all over Kabul and Facebook accounts were full of mentions of the fall of Panjshir.
There had been reports of heavy fighting and casualties in the valley, which is walled off by mountains except for a narrow entrance and had held out against Soviet occupation as well as the previous Taliban government that was ousted in 2001. The Taliban seized Kabul on August 15 after rapid advances across Afghanistan.
CNN-News18 earlier reported that Pakistani forces are aiding the Taliban in their fight against the last remaining foothold of opposition Panjshir Valley.
Pakistan is providing air support to Taliban fighters in Panjshir, the sources said, adding that some Special Forces have been airdropped to fight the Resistance.
The sources said all major supplies and roads have been blocked by the militant group. Both sides – Taliban and Panjshir resistance – have sustained major casualties in the ongoing operations, they added. Yesterday, ISI Chief Hameed Faiz had extended his support to the Taliban, in a visit to Kabul.
Saleh had written to the United Nations, asking national and international aid agencies to immediately mobilise their resources to end the “war crimes” committed by the hardliners.