Resistance forces say at least 600 Taliban fighters killed in Panjshir

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Image: The Indian Express
Image: The Indian Express

New Delhi : Around 600 Taliban fighters were killed in Afghanistan's northeastern province of Panjshir, the last Afghan province holding out against the hardline Islamist group, the Afghan resistance forces have claimed. 

"About 600 Taliban terrorists have been liquidated in various districts of Panjshir since morning. More than 1,000 Taliban militants have been captured or surrendered themselves," the resistance forces' spokesperson Fahim Dashti tweeted, according to Sputnik News.

Panjshir is the stronghold of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late ex-Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, and acting President Amrullah Saleh. 

The Taliban, which swept through the country ahead of the final withdrawal of US-led troops on August 31, could not control the valley when they ruled Afghanistan last from 1996 to 2001.

Even though both sides claimed to have the upper hand in Panjshir but neither has given any conclusive evidence to prove it. Al Jazeera reported that a Taliban official said fighting was on in Panjshir but the advance had been slowed by landmines placed on the road to the capital Bazarak and the provincial governor's compound. Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi said the Khinj and Unabah districts had been taken, giving Taliban forces control of four of the province's seven districts. "The Mujahideen (Taliban fighters) are advancing toward the centre (of the province)," he said on Twitter.