At least 17 killed in Kabul after Taliban fire weapons to celebrate ‘Panjshir fall’


Guwahati: At least 17 people have been killed in Kabul after Taliban fighters fired weapons into the air in celebration, Reuters reported quoting other agencies. Taliban fired guns into the air Friday night to celebrate gains on the battlefield in Panjshir province, which still remains under the control of anti-Taliban fighters.

Sources in the Taliban told news agency Reuters Saturday its fighters had taken Panjshir Valley, the final holdout in its quest to seize Afghanistan. “By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command,” one Taliban commander was quoted as saying. Heavy fighting continues in the valley and has left hundreds dead till now.

However, resistance leaders denied the claim to Reuters. “News of Panjshir conquests is circulating on Pakistani media. This is a lie,” said Ahmad Massoud, who is leading the rebels.

Meanwhile, former president Hamid Karzai in a statement has asked the Taliban and the “resistance front” in Panjshir to stop the fighting and resolve their issues through talks, TOLO news reported.

In other news, Taliban sources also told Reuters the group’s co-founder and head of political office Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar would lead the new Afghan government. The co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Omar’s son Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai are likely to have senior positions in the government. Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme religious leader, will deal with religious matters and governance.