Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid reported that the Taliban had taken complete control of Panjsher province, the last pockets of resistance to their power. The enemy was defeated on the battlefield and fled, he said.
“The fall of Panjsher is the last stronghold of enemy mercenaries. Our efforts to secure the country have borne fruit. Panjsher is under full control of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” he wrote on social media, promising the safety of local residents.
Panjsher is populated by ethnic Tajiks, while the Taliban base is Pashtun. Self-proclaimed president Amrullah Saleh reportedly fled Panjsher to Tajikistan. The whereabouts of National Resistance Front commander Ahmad Masoud are unknown.
Earlier, both religious authorities and General Michael Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces, had spoken out against the continued fighting. He warned that they could lead to a large-scale civil war in Afghanistan, which would entail the strengthening of radical terrorist groups.