Amrullah Saleh, former vice president of Afghanistan and one of the resistance leaders against Taliban on Friday said that he is still there in the country adding the fighting in Panjshir valley between the northern alliance and Taliban has intensified, TOLOnews reported.
However, Reuters quoted Taliban sources saying that its forces have taken full control of Afghanistan including the Panjshir valley where opposition forces had been holding out.
Earlier in the day, the Taliban had claimed advances in Panjshir as they captured the centre of Shutul district along with 11 outposts held by opposition forces.
Inamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said that 34 members of the opposition forces were killed in the ongoing clashes, Tolo News reported.
The Taliban shared a video online saying their forces had advanced in Shutul district.
“A heavy toll has been inflicted on the opposite side in last night’s operations as well as in this morning’s clashes in Shutul district of Panjshir,” Samangani said.
However, forces loyal to Ahmad Massoud rejected the figures and claimed that the Taliban has suffered heavy casualties.
A spokesman for the opposition front, Fahim Dashti, said 350 Taliban fighters were killed and at least 290 more were wounded in the clashes in the last four days. The Taliban has rejected the figures.
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“Last night the Taliban made many attempts to enter Shutul district through the Jabal Siraj mountains, but their attempts failed, their bodies remained on the battlefield and they took only 40 bodies with them,” Dashti said.
The clashes come as political efforts failed to forge an agreement between the two sides. One analyst said that such clashes will not benefit either side and there is a need to resume the negotiations between the Taliban and forces under Massoud.
Clashes erupted between the Taliban and the resistance movement on Thursday in Gulbahar, the entrance gate of Panjshir province, and both sides used heavy and light weapons, Ariana News reported.
Both sides accused each other of initiating the clash. The resistance movement said the Taliban started the clashes.
“The enemy attacked Panjshir province form Andarab route twice and suffered heavy casualties,” said Fahim Dashti, a spokesman for the resistance movement.
Taliban, meanwhile, stated that resistance movement forces attacked them first and finally suffered heavy casualties, the report said.
(With IANS inputs)