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Taliban claim to have taken Panjshir, last holdout Afghan province

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KABUL, Afghanistan-The Taliban said Monday they have seized control of Panjshir province north of Kabul, the latest takeover by anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not taken during their bombing of Afghanistan. last month.

Thousands of Taliban fighters stormed eight districts of Panjshir overnight, according to witnesses from the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity and feared for their safety. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement saying that Panjshir was now under the control of Taliban fighters.

Mujahid reported on the victory in Panjshir in a tweet stating that “the last stronghold of the mercenary enemy, So province, was completely conquered.”

The Taliban also released a video of them raising their flag at the governor’s house in Panjshir. In another video from the commander of the Badar force leading the fight against the Panjshir uprising, Maulvi Hidayatullah Badar could be seen assuring the local commanders that they were pardoned and that they would never be tried or executed. “You are welcome to move around the country,” he can be heard saying in the video.

The Taliban fighters were reportedly unable to achieve a complete victory of province, so the Badri Bridge was called out and the suicide bombers broke through Panjshiri’s defensive lines.

It is after 43 years that the Massoud family has lost control of this remote valley.

Taliban government

The Taliban are yet to finalize their new regime after rolling into Kabul three weeks ago at a speed that analysts say likely surprised even the insurgents themselves.

As they undertake the major transition into governing major institutions and cities of hundreds of thousands of people, Mujahid said an interim government would first be announced, allowing for later changes.

“Final decisions have been taken, we are now working on the technical issues,” he said at a press conference.

Afghanistan new rulers have pledged to be more “inclusive” than during their first stint in power, which also came after years of conflict — first the Soviet invasion of 1979, and then a bloody civil war.

They have promised a government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic.

As the Taliban come to grips with their transition from insurgency to government they are facing a host of challenges, including humanitarian needs for which international assistance is critical.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths has arrived in Kabul for several days of meetings with the Taliban leadership, which has promised to help.

“The authorities pledged that the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and humanitarian access to people in need, will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers — both men and women — will be guaranteed freedom of movement,” a statement from UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The Taliban spokesman tweeted that the group’s delegation assured the UN of cooperation.

The Taliban promise safety and security for humanitarian personnel

The United Nations said in a statement Sunday that the Taliban authorities “promised that the safety of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian access to those in need would be guaranteed and that freedom of movement would be guaranteed for humanitarian workers, both men and women.”
It comes after UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths met with Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Baradar and other senior Taliban figures in Kabul to reiterate the UN’s commitment. with humanitarian aid there.
“At this meeting, Mr. Griffiths reiterated the humanitarian community’s commitment to provide impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of people in need,” said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, in a statement.

The fighting for the Afghan province intensifies as the Taliban advance into the Panjshir Valley.
The UN said Afghanistan was “facing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe” fueled by conflict, drought and famine. Half of the country’s population, 18 million people, need humanitarian aid to survive, and the situation will worsen as a severe drought – the second in four years – will further contribute to famine in the coming months, according to Dujarric.
On Sunday, aid planes from Qatar and Bahrain arrived in Kabul, transporting more than 50 tons of medical supplies and food to the country.
This is the second aid shipment to arrive at Qatar’s Kabul airport since US troops withdrew from the country in late August. The first shipment arrived on Saturday with a plane carrying about 17 tons of aid, according to a statement from the State Department.


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