“Hundreds of fighters” are on their way to Punjir province “to bring them under control after local government officials have refused to surrender them peacefully,” the Taliban wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
The Pandschir Valley is one of the few regions in Afghanistan that has escaped the control of the Islamists after the Taliban’s campaign of conquest. The valley is considered a stronghold of resistance because it was not captured by either Soviet soldiers or the Taliban.
Resistance against the Taliban is developing
Ahmed Massud, the son of a famous Taliban opponent and warlord, is currently trying to set up a resistance group there. It is said to include former members of the Afghan armed forces who fled to Punjir because of the Taliban’s advance.
A force of 9,000 fighters should arise, said the spokesman for the anti-Taliban units, Ali Maisam Nasari, the AFP news agency. Dozens of recruits and several armored SUVs were seen during a military training session for the group on Saturday.
Ahmed Massoud warns Taliban against bloodshed
Massoud warned the Taliban on Sunday of an offensive in the Punjir Valley. “The Taliban will not survive long if they continue on this path,” he said on the television channel Al-Arabija. “We are ready to defend Afghanistan and we warn against bloodshed.”