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Taliban, NRF both claim victory in Panjshir in disputing version of events

PANJSHIR, AFGHANISTAN - SEPTEMBER 6: Taliban members pose for a photo after they took over Panjshir Valley, the only province the group had not seized during its sweep last month in Afghanistan on September 6, 2021. ( Bilal Güler - Anadolu Agency )
Taliban members pose for a photo after they took over Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan on 6 September 2021 [Bilal Güler/Anadolu Agency]

Both the Taliban and National Resistance Front (NRF) have claimed victories in the resistance-held Panjshir province, according to i24 News.

The Taliban claimed in a statement on Monday they achieved complete control over the region.

The Taliban's spokesperson said at a press conference in Kabul: "We tried our best to solve the problem through negotiations, and they rejected talks and then we had to send our forces to fight."

However, the NRF has sharply refuted this claim, saying it continues to fight in several key positions in the region, and still has control of the roads throughout the province, claiming "the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue".

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NRF's Head of Foreign Relations Ali Maisam Nazary confirmed the the deaths of General Abdul Wudod Zara and Fahim Dashti in an interview with i24 News.

Italian medical NGO Emergency –which is currently providing aid in the region– said Taliban forces in the area had reportedly gained ground in the region.

Neither version of events has been officially verified.

The Panjshir province has been the epicentre of resistance to the Taliban, and base of the NRF, an armed resistance group led by Ahmad Massoud, son of infamous anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

This comes as thousands of Afghans have fled the country, following a rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, with many fearing for their lives at the hands of the Taliban; especially women and children.

European countries and Turkey have bolstered their borders to prevent an influx of Afghan refugees.

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