Anti-Taliban forces say they've taken three districts in Afghanistan's north

Anti-Taliban forces say they’ve taken three districts in Afghanistan’s north

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Anti-Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan say they have occupied three areas near the Panjshir Valley, where remnants of government forces and other militia groups have gathered.

Defence Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi, who has vowed to resist the Taliban, said in a tweet that the districts of Deh Saleh, Bano and Pul-Hesar in the neighbouring province of Baghlan to the north of Panjshir had been taken.

It is not clear what forces are involved, but this incident added scattered signs of opposition to the Taliban, who came to power during Operation Blitz and occupied all major cities in Afghanistan within a week.

The local TV station Tolo News quoted a local police commander as saying that Baghlan’s Bano district was under the control of the local militia and stated that there were heavy casualties.

The Taliban have not yet commented on this incident.

Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmed Masood, son of former anti-Soviet jihadist commander Ahmed Shah Masood, vowed to resist the Taliban from Panjshir, who in the 1980s And repelled the Soviet army and the Taliban in the 1990s.

People close to Masood said that more than 6,000 fighters, made up of remnants of the army and special forces, and local militia groups, gathered in the valley. They said they had some helicopters and military vehicles, and repaired some armored vehicles left by the Soviets.

There is obviously no connection between these groups in Panjshir and the red, green and black demonstrations in some eastern cities and the capital of Kabul where protesters raised the Afghan flag.

But they underscore the problems that may face the Taliban as they begin to consolidate their rapid victory.

The Taliban have not so far tried to enter Panjshir, which is still dotted with the wreckage of Soviet armoured vehicles destroyed in the fighting more than 30 years ago.

But Western diplomats and others have expressed scepticism about the ability of the groups gathered there to mount an effective resistance given the lack of outside support and the need to repair and maintain weapons.

The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. 15,000 soldiers were killed and tens of thousands were wounded and left.

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