Panjshir is the only one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces that is yet to fall to the militants,…reports Asian Lite News
The Panjshir based anti-Taliban movement in Afghanistan has made gains in the northern Baghlan province as talks to form a new government continue.
Fighters of the self-styled “Resistance-2” against the Taliban in Panjshir said that they have managed to retake Salah and Banu districts in Baghlan after killing “dozens” of Taliban fighters.
Panjshir is the only one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces that is yet to fall to the militants, TRT World reported.
The Taliban have reportedly surrounded Panjshir as the insurgents and the resistance movement continue talks to negotiate a stand-off.
With the anti-Taliban movement retaking Pul-e-Hisar over the weekend, at least three districts of Baghlan province to the north of Panjshir are with the Massoud forces. Baghlan is some 120 km north of Kabul.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s “acting” President Amrullah Saleh has highlighted the dire “humanitarian situation” in Andarab valley of the northern Baghlan province and accused the Taliban of committing human rights violations in the region.
This comes as clashes were reported between the Taliban and resistance forces in the Andarab region. Taliban forces are reportedly facing a challenge from local resistance forces in the Panjshir valley led by Ahmad Massoud, son of renowned anti-Taliban figure Ahmad Shah Massoud.
“Talibs aren’t allowing food and fuel to get into Andarab valley. The humanitarian situation is dire. Thousands of women and children have fled to the mountains. Since the last two days Talibs abduct children and elderly and use them as shields to move around or do house search,” Saleh tweeted.
A day earlier, Saleh had warned the Taliban to avoid entering Panjshir.
“Talibs have massed forces near the entrance of Panjshir a day after they got trapped in ambush zones of neighbouring Andarab valley and hardly went out in one piece. Meanwhile, the Salang highway is closed by the forces of the Resistance. ‘There are terrains to be avoided’. See you,” Saleh tweeted on Sunday.
UN humanitarian agencies, meanwhile, are warning that they are unable to bring urgently needed emergency supplies into Afghanistan, and are calling for a “humanitarian airbridge” to be set up immediately, to allow the unimpeded delivery of medicines and other aid supplies to the country.
Richard Brennan, the WHO Regional Director, explained that the agency is unable to bring some 500 tonnes of medical supplies, scheduled to be delivered this week, into the country.
In the past week, the WHO has distributed trauma and medical kits from existing supplies to hospitals in Kabul, Kunduz and Helmand provinces to support health services for tens of thousands of people in need. However, supplies are dwindling and they need to be replenished, UN News reported.
The key focus has been the evacuation of foreigners and vulnerable Afghans but the agencies pointed out that “The massive humanitarian needs facing the majority of the population should not – and cannot – be neglected”. (IANS/ANI)