Sun, 24 Oct 2021

Taliban tighten grip on Panjshir with killings

ANI
13 Sep 2021, 04:37 GMT+10

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 12 (ANI): Taliban have imposed a blockade in Afghanistan's Panjshir province, denying residents food and carrying out some extrajudicial killings, The Washington Post reported.

On Tuesday, the Taliban formed the interim "Islamic Emirate", appointing hardliners, who oversaw the 20-year fight against the US-led military coalition, in its new government.

The new government is dominated by members of the group's old guard, with no women included. Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund has been appointed as Prime Minister with two deputies Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Molavi Abdul Salam Hanafi.

Meanwhile, the Resistance Front in the Panjshir has vowed to declare a parallel government in Afghanistan even as the Taliban recently announced its "caretaker government" in the country. Although the Taliban has seized control of Panjshir this week, sporadic clashes still take place in the valley.

A tribal elder who recently fled the province told The Post that the Taliban is carrying out some extrajudicial executions of civilians and the list of abuses carried out by the outfit is growing.

The Afghan elder said that his people pressed him to leave the area after Taliban members warned his family. "The eight civilians killed in Panjshir three days earlier were neither supporters of the resistance or the Taliban," he said.

Highlighting the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Panjshir valley, former Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh last week had called on the UN to do its utmost to prevent the Taliban's onslaught into the resistance stronghold.

Raising an alarm over the situation in Panjshir, Saleh in a letter to the UN had said a large-scale humanitarian crisis is occurring across Panjshir province and three Andrabs districts in Baghlan province due to the economic blockade and telecommunication blackout by the Taliban.

"We call on the United Nations and the international community to do its utmost to prevent the Taliban's onslaught into Panjshir province and encourage, negotiate a political solution to ensure thousands of displaced and hosting civilians are saved," Saleh had said.

Taliban and opposition forces battled to control the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, the last Afghan province holding out against the group. Saleh, along with Ahmad Massoud -- the son of famous Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud -- another leader of the resistance, is still trying to mount a challenge to the Taliban. (ANI)

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