CAIRO, September 2. /TASS/. Members of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) who have seized power in Afghanistan are trying to break into the rebel Panjshir province from the south, a regional source close to the National Resistance Front told TASS on the phone on Thursday.
"The Taliban failed to achieve anything on the western approaches to Panjshir, so now they are trying to enter the region from the south, through the Gulbahar area," he said, adding that the militants had started employing heavy weapons and military equipment.
Al Jazeera reported earlier that the Taliban had decided to launch a military operation against resistance forces in Panjshir after talks with its leaders had failed. However, resistance spokesman Fahim Dashty told TASS on Thursday that militias were committed to resolving the situation peacefully but were prepared to fight a war started by radical militants. According to him, about 350 Taliban members were killed in clashes in the past two days and another 35 were captured.
After the United States announced plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take the country under control. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country. Those unwilling to accept Taliban rule organized a resistance movement in the Panjshir Valley, which is led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late field commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself caretaker president, called on the Afghan people to support the resistance leader.