Armed Afghans Reclaim Districts In First Major Display Of Resistance

By Kaelan Deesen August 22, 2021 | Image Source: Washington Examiner

Armed Afghan resistance forces wrested control of three districts from the Taliban , marking the first successful uprising against the group in Afghanistan since it seized control of the capital city of Kabul on Sunday.

Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, who has sworn to resist the Taliban, tweeted Friday that the districts of Deh Salah, Banu, and Pul-e-Hesar in the neighboring province of Baghlan to the north of Panjshir had been reclaimed. While the forces involved in the resistance group were not immediately clear, the incident marked the first significant armed rebuke of the Taliban’s swift dominance of Kabul.

Ghani Andarabi, a former local police commander, said the Banu district in Baghlan was under the control of local militia forces and said there had been heavy casualties “to the Taliban,” according to Tolo News .

“With the support of God and the mujahideen, three districts were liberated, we are now moving toward Khinjan district and will clear Baghlan province soon,” Assadullah, Banu’s former police chief, said.

There are unconfirmed reports the Taliban are preparing to take the districts from resistance fighters, the outlet reported.

People close to Ahmad Massoud, the son of former anti-Soviet mujahedeen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, said there were more than 6,000 fighters composed of remnants of military units, along with local militia groups, in the Panjshir valley. They claim to have helicopters and military vehicles that remained from the Soviet occupation of the country between 1979 and 1989.

Taliban officials have not commented on the matter, according to Reuters.

Sources said the retaliation began after the Taliban entered Baghlan and engaged in house-to-house searches, according to the local Afghan news outlet.

The resistance among militant groups in Panjshir does not appear to be connected to demonstrations seen in Kabul and eastern cities earlier this week, when nonviolent protesters marched in the streets and some raised the flag of the former Afghan government.

The Taliban have spent the last week fortifying their new capital of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan after the militant group overran the former government on Sunday, taking the city of Kabul. The group maintains control over 33 out of 34 provinces in the country. As of Monday, the Taliban controlled 222 of Afghanistan’s 421 districts, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, American and British military forces have control of the perimeter within Kabul’s international airport, where efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens, U.S.-aligned Afghan allies, and those with eligible special immigrant visas continue in spite of possible security threats outlined by the U.S. Embassy on Saturday.

Author: Kaelan Deesen

Source: Washington Examiner: Armed Afghans reclaim three districts in first major display of resistance since Taliban’s Kabul takeover