Taliban face armed resistance in Panjshir province

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Panjshir was a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance during the group’s first stint in power in the 1990s….reports Asian Lite News

The Taliban have been accused of human rights abuses during clashes with resistance forces in Panjshir province, to the north of Kabul, the media reported.

A local resident told the BBC that his unarmed elderly relative had been shot by the group, who seized power in Afghanistan last August.

Another saw a neighbour beaten by the Taliban until he fell unconscious.

A local Taliban spokesman denied any abuses had taken place or that any of the group’s members had been killed.

The fighting is localised and at this stage does not represent a challenge to the Taliban’s control of the country, but it is the most significant sustained armed opposition the group has faced since coming to power, BBC reported.

Panjshir was a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance during the group’s first stint in power in the 1990s.

In recent days, fighters belonging to the National Resistance Front launched a guerrilla attack on Taliban forces in the area, who responded by sending a large number of reinforcements to Panjshir.

The NRF is headed by Ahmad Massoud, the son of a legendary anti-Taliban fighter, who fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

The group is also supported by some former commandos who used to be part of the Afghan army.

Residents described hundreds of villagers leaving their homes and heading to the mountains in fear of advancing Taliban fighters.

One villager said his elderly male relative had stayed behind at home, but was ordered by Taliban members to point out the houses of resistance fighters.

He and another man were then shot dead, the villager alleged.

“He wasn’t armed and didn’t have any link with any group,” he said.

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