The Taliban on Monday morning in a statement said their forces had completely captured Panjshir and that the war in the country had ended.
Taliban forces also published videos on social media indicating they were at the provincial center and had raised their flag at the provincial building.
“This is the provincial building of Panjshir. All forces of the Islamic Emirate have arrived here,” a Taliban commander said.
Hours later Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid appeared at a press conference in Kabul and said that with the capture of Panjshir the war had ended in the country.
“Panjshir province as the last hideout of the last fleeing enemy was captured last night and today and the forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are presently active there,” said Mujahid.
Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the Resistance Front, however, in an audio message on his Facebook page said their forces are present in Panjshir and Andarab district of Baghlan and that they will continue fighting the Taliban.
“My fellow countrymen, wherever you are, inside or outside, I call on you to begin a national uprising for the dignity, freedom, and prosperity of our country,” he said in his audio message.
Massoud said the Taliban had attacked Panjshir with the support of “foreign forces” and that a number of his fighters, including members of his family, were killed in the Taliban’s attack.
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry called for the resolution of the Panjshir conflict with dialogue and said it will investigate the involvement of any foreign country in the war in Panjshir.
“We condemn last night’s attack. The martyrdom of Afghanistan’s leaders is deeply regrettable and sorrowful. Foreign intervention must be investigated, and we are investigating it,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
The Taliban, however, rejected the involvement of any foreign countries in the war in Panjshir.
“The Islamic Emirate had enough forces to resolve the issue of Panjshir and did not need any foreign support,” said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission.
On Sunday a number of religious scholars from different parts of the country gathered in Kabul where they called the war in Panjshir illegitimate and asked both sides to stop fighting each other.
While Massoud says that the Taliban ignored the scholars’ decision and chose war over talks, the Taliban said the Resistance Front had lost any chance for negotiations and that they were forced to take Panjshir by force.
Courtesy: TOLO NEWS