Conflicts & War

Taliban launch major offensive to take over last Afghan province

Kabul, Aug. 31 (EFE).- The Taliban launched several major attacks overnight against the northern Panjshir province, the only part of the country that remains outside the insurgents’ control, but were pushed back by resistance forces, opposition sources said on Tuesday.

The group attacked Panjshir from the west in an offensive that started on Monday afternoon, but failed to make a major breakthrough, according to the resistance.

“Taliban carried out several attacks against our forces from the western direction of Panjshir province since last night but all of them were pushed back,” Fahim Dashti, spokesperson for the anti-Taliban forces known as the as National Resistance Front in Panjshir, said in a statement.

Dashti claimed that the Taliban suffered “heavy losses” in the clashes and around 30 of their fighters were killed, 15 injured and some captured by the resistance.

However, two Taliban sources rebutted the claim and told EFE on the condition of anonymity that they had made some advances after attacking Panjshir from multiple directions

They said that the operations against Panjshir were being headed by Qari Fasihuddin, the deputy leader of the Taliban’s military commission and a member of the Tajik ethnicity who originates from the northern Badakshan province.

One of the Taliban officials said that the group hoped to resolve the Panjshir dispute through negotiations despite having the capability to capture the province by military means.

The insurgents have cut supply routes and all mobile phone and internet services in Panjshir and surrounding areas in order to increase pressure against the resistance.

The opposition forces gathered in Panjshir consist of local supporters, remnants of the erstwhile Afghan National Army, police and operatives of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) who have regrouped in the valley from various provinces of the country after the Taliban takeover. .

Currently Panjshir is the only one out of the 34 Afghan provinces that remains outside the control of the Taliban, which seized the entire country in mid-August in a massive offensive that listed little over two weeks.

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