INTERNATIONAL – The Taliban announced on Monday (September 6th) that they had taken “complete” control of the Panchir Valley, where resistance has been organized against them since taking power in Afghanistan in mid-August. The resistance on the spot, for its part, affirmed that the struggle “will continue”.

“With this victory, our country is now completely out of the doldrums of war. People will now live in freedom, peace and prosperity, ”senior Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

“Insurgents were killed and the rest fled. The respectable people of Panchir have been rescued from the hostage takers. We ensure that no one will be discriminated against. They are all our brothers and we will work together for a country and a goal ”, he added.

The enclaved and difficult to access Panchir Valley, 80 km north of Kabul, was the last hotbed of armed opposition to the Taliban, who seized power on August 15 and secured the departure of the last foreign troops two more weeks late.

Long-standing anti-Taliban stronghold, the area, which legendary Commander Ahmed Shah Massoud helped make famous in the late 1990s before being assassinated by al-Qaeda in 2001, is home to the National Resistance Front (FNR) .

Led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of Commander Massoud, the FNR includes members of local militias as well as former members of the Afghan security forces who arrived in the valley when the rest of Afghanistan fell.

After the Taliban’s announcement, the FNR claimed on its Twitter account to retain “strategic positions” in the valley. “The fight against the Taliban and their partners will continue,” he added. Ahmad Massoud called on every Afghan to launch “a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity” of the country.

The Taliban spokesman issued a warning to all those who would continue to resist. “The Islamic Emirate is very sensitive about insurgencies. Anyone who tries to create an insurgency will be severely repressed, ”he warned.

The Panchir had never fallen into enemy hands, either under Soviet occupation in the 1980s, or under the Taliban’s rise to power for the first time a decade later.

The FNR had proposed a ceasefire overnight from Sunday to Monday, after apparently suffering heavy losses over the weekend. He said he had “proposed to the Taliban to cease their military operations in the Panchir … and to withdraw their forces. In return, we will ask our troops to refrain from any military action ”.

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