Spokesperson of Afghanistan’s resistance front killed during Panjshir fighting, according to reports

·3-min read
Members of National Resistance Front observe by a house near Panjshir Valley (Reuters)
Members of National Resistance Front observe by a house near Panjshir Valley (Reuters)

A spokesperson of Afghanistan's resistance movement was killed during fighting with the Taliban in Panjshir valley, reports said.

Fahim Dashti, the spokesperson for National Resistance Front (NRF), and three other leaders of the anti-Taliban group were killed on Sunday during the clashes.

A page on Facebook affiliated with the resistance movement put out a statement saying: “With deep regret, we lost two dear brothers and colleagues and fighters today. Fahim Dashti, the head of the office of Amir Saheb Ahmad Masoud, and General Sahib Abdul Wadood Zhor, the nephew of the national hero of Afghanistan in the battle against the fascist group."

Prior to his death, Dashti, who was also a member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party said that the Paryan district of the province was completely cleared of the Taliban.

"At least 1,000 terrorists were blocked. All militants were killed, surrounded or captured by resistance forces during attempts to escape and retreat. Most of the prisoners are foreigners, mostly Pakistanis," he wrote on Twitter.

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The militant group's spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on Monday claimed that the Taliban has taken complete control of Afghanistan's northeastern province, a claim that the resistance forces denied.

The Panjshir valley in the Hindu Kush mountains, located 90 miles from the capital Kabul, has been the last fortress for the militants. It was the only province the Taliban was unable to capture after laying siege to Kabul on 15 August. Several photos, circulating on social media showed the militants standing in front of the gates of the provincial governor’s compound.

"The last stronghold of enemy mercenaries, Panjshir province, is completely captured. The latest efforts to ensure complete security in the country also brought results and Panjshir province is under the full control of the Islamic Emirate," Mr Mujahid said on Twitter.

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The resistance movement is led by former Afghan defence minister Ahmad Massoud, the son of late guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who was killed by the al-Qaeda terrorist group, and former vice president of the country Amrullah Saleh. Mr Saleh had declared himself as the caretaker president as per the Afghan constitution.

Mr Massoud on Sunday proposed to stop fighting and start negotiations if the Taliban leave the province, however, the ceasefire offer was rejected by the Taliban.

In 1996 when the Taliban had taken over Kabul, the militants failed to capture the Panjshir valley. Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the 'lion of Panjshir,' led the resistance movement against the Taliban regime.

The Taliban intensified its offensive in the Panjshir province after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed mid-August.

With the withdrawal of its troops, Washington ended its 20-year-long war with the Taliban on 31 August, leading Afghanistan into colossal chaos.

The Independent has launched a petition urging the UK government to be more ambitious in its plans to take in Afghan refugees following the Taliban seizing power and withdrawal of western troops. Afghans are now facing a similar plight. You, our readers, have already shown your strength of feeling in letters and on social media. Here’s a chance to have your voice heard by adding your signature. We thank you for your support. To sign the petition click here

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