Taliban claim to enter resistance stronghold Panjshir, Massoud supporters deny

The Taliban said their fighters entered Panjshir province on Saturday without facing any resistance, Afghan news outlet ToloNews reported.

“No fighting occurred, but the.. [Taliban fighters] advanced from various directions without facing any resistance. The [Taliban] forces have entered Panjshir from different directions,” said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission.

After the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15, Panjshir province in the country’s northwest remained an unconquered area. It has become a stronghold for resistance, mobilizing under Ahmad Massoud, the 32-year-old son of the slain leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, who vowed to resist the Taliban.

Massoud’s supporters rejected the Taliban’s claim of entering Panjshir. “There is no fight in Panjshir and no one has entered the province,” said Mohammad Almas Zahid, head of the Resistance Front delegation.

The Taliban’s Samangani said that the door remained open for negotiations with Massoud’s supporters and on Saturday a delegation of Ahmad Massoud met with a Taliban delegation in Kabul, Tolo news reported.

The Taliban announced last week that hundreds of their fighters were heading to Panjshir to control the province.

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