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Pakistan spy chief reaches Kabul amid battle of Panjshir valley between Taliban and opposition forces

Saturday saw the fight between the Taliban and the opposition forces of the Panjshir Valley which is in the North of Kabul and the last province in Afghanistan holding out against the hardline Islamist group.

Taliban sources on Friday claimed that they had captured the valley though the opposition fighting force has been in denial. As far as taking over is concerned, the Taliban has not issued any official statement as of now.

The Panjshir valley has been one of those places in Afghanistan that have resisted the Islamist group even when the Taliban was in power in Kabul earlier from 1996 to 2001.

The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, which groups opposition forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, said Taliban forces reached the Darband heights on the border between Kapisa province and Panjshir but were pushed back.

"The defense of the stronghold of Afghanistan is unbreakable," Front spokesman Fahim Dashty said in a tweet. In a Facebook post, Massoud insisted his forces would resist and said Panjshir continues to stand strong in the fight.

Praising honourable sisters, he said demonstrations by women in the western city of Herat calling for their rights showed Afghans had not given up demands for justice and they fear no threats.

A Taliban source said fighting was continuing in Panjshir but the advance was slowed by landmines placed on the road to the capital Bazarak and the provincial governor's compound. Demining and offensives are both going on at the same time, the source said.

It was not immediately possible to get independent confirmation of events in Panjshir, which is walled off by mountains except for a narrow entrance.

Source : DNA India

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