Resistance forces are holding a last stand against Taliban in Panjshir valley

Fahim Dashty, the spokesperson of Ahmad Massoud who is leading a resistance movement to the Taliban, said seven-eight Taliban fighters were killed in a fight that broke out in Panjshir valley on Monday night. Dashty said the Taliban launched an attack on Monday night on Panjshir where resistance forces are holding a last stand against the outfit in Afghanistan. He said both sides suffered injuries while seven-eight Taliban fighters died during the incident.

Earlier, the Islamist group is pressing opposition leaders there to join a new government, threatening a military assault if they don’t. Politicians in Panjshir, who say they are backed by a militia of several thousand men, bolstered by the remnants of the Afghan army, and with military hardware such as helicopters, say they have rebuffed Taliban overtures, which they say fall short of the promises of autonomy they want. On Sunday, Taliban and rebel forces skirmished just outside the valley, a resistance leader said. Families of valley residents said the Taliban also cut telephone and internet connections to the valley. The Taliban shut down internet services in Panjshir in an attempt to prevent former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who joined Panjshir forces, from sharing his messages on Twitter. The development comes as US troops made their final exit from Afghanistan on Monday night after 20 years of war that turned out to be America’s longest.

Panjshir is the only Afghanistan province that has not yet fallen to the Taliban. Several Taliban opponents have gathered in Panjshir. Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Afghan rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, is presently in Panjshir valley along with Amrullah Saleh.