On September 4, the Taliban captured two more districts in the northeastern Afghan province of Panjshir from resistance forces led by Ahmad Massoud Jr. and former Vice President Amrullah Saleh.
According to several sources, Taliban fighters entered the districts of Onaba and Khenj following heavy clashes with resistance forces. Local fighters blew up some narrow mountain roads to slow down the advance of the Taliban, but to no avail.
At least four of Panjshir’s seven districts are currently in the hands of the Taliban. In the last two days, the group’s fighters imposed control of the districts of Shutal and Paryan.
Sources in Panjshir told SouthFront early on September 4 that the enter province is now under the de-facto control of the Taliban.
Despite losing ground, resistance forces continue to report heavy losses in the ranks of the Taliban. On September 4, the forces claimed that as many as 1,600 fighters of the group were either killed or captured. These claims are unrealistic to say the least.
The Taliban appears to be on the brink of capturing Panjshir, including the headquarters of resistance forces in the district of Bazarak. Nevertheless, the rough terrain of the province could play in favor of the resistance in the end.
Panjshir local fighters are determined and very familiar with the region. They could pose a serious challenge to the Taliban even if it captured the entire province. Because of this, the Taliban will likely seek a settlement with Ahmad Massoud Jr. regardless of the outcome of the ongoing battle.