Taliban forces have taken full control of Afghanistan including the Panjshir Valley where opposition forces had been holding out, three Taliban sources said on Friday as heavy celebratory gunfire was heard in the Afghan capital Kabul.
“By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of the entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have defeated and Panjshir is now under our command,” said one Taliban commander.
It was not immediately possible to confirm the reports. Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, one of the leaders of the opposition forces told Tolo News television station that reports he had fled the country were lies.
And in a video clip posted on Twitter by a BBC World journalist who said it had been sent by Saleh, he said: “There is no doubt we are in a difficult situation. We are under invasion by the Taliban … We have held the ground, we have resisted.”
He also tweeted: “The RESISTANCE is continuing and will continue. I am here with my soil, for my soil & defending its dignity.”
His son, Ebadullah Saleh, denied that Panjshir had fallen, texting the message “No, it’s false”.
There had been reports of heavy fighting and casualties in Panjshir, a rugged valley where several thousand fighters from regional militias and remnants of the old government’s armed forces had massed under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud the son of late Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.
The Taliban seized Kabul on Aug 15 after rapid advances across Afghanistan.
This will be updated..