Taliban suffer losses in Panjshir, retreat in several directions — regional source

Members of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) suffered heavy losses in the rebel Panjshir province and had to retreat, a regional source close to the National Resistance Front told TASS on the phone on Friday.

According to the source, the Taliban tried to break into Panjshir from the West through the Andarab Valley and the Puli Hisar area, as well as from the south through the Gulbahar area on Thursday and in the early hours of Friday. "They failed on both directions and had to retreat after suffering heavy losses," the source pointed out, adding that numerous Taliban fighters had been captured.

"The situation around the besieged Panjshir Valley is stable at the moment," the source noted. 

He also denied the Taliban’s claims that they had seized several districts and four checkpoints in the Panjshir province and that 31 members of the resistance forces had been killed.

Resistance spokesman Fahim Dashti told TASS on Thursday that militias were committed to resolving the situation peacefully but were prepared to fight a war started by radical militants. According to him, about 350 Taliban members were killed in clashes in the past two days and another 35 were captured.

After the United States announced plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take the country under control. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country. Those unwilling to accept Taliban rule organized a resistance movement in the Panjshir Valley, which is led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late field commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself caretaker president, called on the Afghan people to support the resistance leader.