Taliban claims victory in holdout Panjshir Valley as resistance fighters propose ceasefire

KABUL: SEPT. 7 – The Taliban have declared victory in the latest battle in the Panjshir Valley in northeastern Afghanistan.

The province, which has been resisting the Taliban, was outside Taliban control. The group released a video footage Monday showing militants waving a Taliban flag.

The group, which opposes the Taliban, has said it is “present in all strategic locations” and will “continue fighting.” The group’s leaders have called for a “nationwide uprising” against the Taliban.

In an audio recording posted on social media, National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) leader Amham Masood accused the international community of recognizing the Taliban and giving them military and political confidence.

“Wherever you are, inside or outside, for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country, I call on you to start a nationwide uprising,” he said.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan three weeks ago. He was arrested in the capital, Kabul, on August 15.

Surrounded by steep mountains, the Panjshir Valley is home to between 1.5 million and 200,000 people.

Earlier, when the Soviet Union and the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Panjshir was not under their control.

There was resistance against the Soviet army in the 1980s and from 1996 to 2001. The high cliffs of Panjshir and the ravines between the two hills turn the place into a stronghold.

The valley, which flows through the Panjshir River, is close to the Hindu Kush mountain range between Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan.The area is home to precious metal mines, hydroelectric dams and wind power stations.

And, the United States has helped build roads there and a radio tower that can receive signals from Kabul. But economically, the region is not one of Afghanistan’s most important.

-BBC