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Three Northern Districts in Baghlan Province Seized by Afghan Militias Retaken, Says Taliban

Taliban's Alemarah information service said hundreds of fighters were heading towards Panjshir. (Image: Reuters/File)

Taliban's Alemarah information service said hundreds of fighters were heading towards Panjshir. (Image: Reuters/File)

Bano, Deh Saleh, Pul e-Hesar districts in the province were taken by local militia groups in one of the first signs of armed resistance to the Taliban.

Taliban forces have recaptured three districts in northern Afghanistan that fell to local militia groups last week, a spokesperson said on Monday.

The districts of Bano, Deh Saleh, Pul e-Hesar in Baghlan province were taken by local militia groups in one of the first signs of armed resistance to the Taliban since their seizure of the capital Kabul on August 15.

Forces loyal to Ahmad Massoud, son of anti-Soviet Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, have established themselves in Panjshir valley, a mountainous area northwest of Kabul which resisted the Taliban before 2001.

Massoud, whose forces include remnants of regular army and special forces units, has called for negotiations to form an inclusive government for Afghanistan but has promised to resist if Taliban forces try to enter the valley.

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Late on Sunday, the Taliban’s Alemarah information service said hundreds of fighters were heading towards Panjshir but there has been no immediate confirmation of any fighting.

Zabihullah Mujahid said the Salang Pass, on the main highway running from southern Afghanistan to the north, was open and enemy forces were blockaded in Panjshir valley. But his statement suggested that there was no fighting for the moment.

“The Islamic Emirate is trying to resolve the problems peacefully," Zabihullah said.

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first published:August 23, 2021, 16:31 IST