- The leader of a resistance faction against the armed Islamic Taliban movement in Afghanistan wants to continue the fight.
- “We will not give up the struggle for God, freedom and justice,” Ahmed Masoud said on his Facebook page.
- For five days now there has been fighting between the Taliban and fighters from the National Resistance Front around Banjir, the only province in the country not yet controlled by the Taliban.
- Originally, both sides said they wanted to resolve the open power issue through negotiations.
A spokesperson for the National Resistance Front wrote on Twitter this week that the Taliban had offered Massoud a position in the future government and the protection of his property. However, he refused and justified this by the fact that he does not pursue any personal interests. So far, no statement has been issued by the Taliban.
According to a spokesman for the Resistance Front, the fighting began on Tuesday with Taliban attacks on checkpoints at the entrance to Wadi Al-Banajir. It is likely that the fighting has intensified recently. The two sides stated that they inflicted heavy losses on the other side.
Rumors of falling beetroot
On Saturday evening, Taliban supporters spread rumors on Twitter that Banjir had fallen and that the leadership of the resistance had fled. He immediately denied former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who was said to be in Al Banjir itself. “The situation is difficult, but we have defended our country,” he said in a video message posted on Twitter by local TV channel ToloNews. Masoud also wrote on Facebook that Wadi Benjir “has remained consistent so far.”
The Taliban could not conquer Banjir during their first rule between 1996 and 2001. In addition to the bitter resistance of the Northern Alliance, this was also due to the geographical location – the entrance to the valley is narrow and easy to defend.
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