Taliban claims victory in Panjshir as it calls to end war

The Taliban has claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.

“With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war,” chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Monday.

The anti-Taliban National Resistance Front (NRF), pledged to carry on fighting in Panjshir Valley, saying it is present in “strategic positions” and that “the struggle against the Taliban… will continue”.

The whereabouts of resistance leader Ahmed Massoud and Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president who had joined the resistance after the fall of Kabul, were not immediately known.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has flown to Qatar to discuss the chaotic aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

New gov’t to be announced in ‘few days’ says Afghanistan

“The government will probably be a caretaker government for now, with room for reform, change and other fundamental steps,” Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference in the capital Kabul.

“In the next few days we will witness the announcement of the government,” he said, adding that elections were “not in sight for now”.

“The next government will decide how the next procedure will proceed,” said Mujahid.

Taliban says war must end in Afghanistan

“There is no excuse for the war to continue,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference in the capital Kabul.

“The country needs to move more towards stability. No one is allowed to create chaos in any corner of the country,” he added.

“We wanted to resolve the Panjshir issue through talks, we tried very hard. But some who had fled Kabul, carrying weapons and vehicles from the treasury, wanted to disturb the nation. They responded negatively to our delegations. Panjshir is in the hands of security forces,” said Mujahid.

British minister says was wrong on Afghan veterans taking their life

A British junior defence minister says he was wrong when he said some former British soldiers took their own lives in anger over the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“We’re looking very, very carefully at whether or not it is true that someone has taken their life in the last few days,” James Heappey, a junior defence minister, told BBC TV.

Heappey earlier told Sky News that some British Afghan war veterans had taken their own lives in devastation over the chaotic withdrawal of US-led forces and the Taliban victory. A spokesman for Britain’s defence ministry denied that veterans had taken their own lives due to the withdrawal.

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