The Taliban reported Monday that they experienced captured the previous holdout of resistance in the region, but rebel forces contested the assert and vowed to carry on preventing.
The Taliban asserted that they had seized Panjshir province, north of Kabul, as they stopped a quantity of charter planes carrying nongovernmental business staff, among the others, from taking off from an airport in Mazar-i-Sharif, in the north of the region.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reported at a news conference that Panjshir had fallen — underlining the group’s tries to tighten their maintain on Afghanistan soon after their blitz throughout the country previous month.
“Panjshir is less than the management of the Taliban,” Mujahid claimed. “Now the war is finished.”
Panjshir attracted resistance fighters from throughout Afghanistan just after the Taliban conquered considerably of the country very last thirty day period and the Washington-backed govt of President Ashraf Ghani collapsed. Previous Vice President Amrullah Saleh and the son of the iconic anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud are between the leaders of the resistance.
Mujahid reported that some rebels had been killed and that some had fled, and he reassured the regional neighborhood that there would be no retaliation. Whilst the Taliban have frequently stated they would not have out revenge attacks in opposition to their former enemies, many stories of this sort of retaliatory killings have emerged.
Rebels rejected the Taliban’s statements.
“Taliban’s claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are current in all strategic positions throughout the valley to keep on the fight,” said a tweet on the Countrywide Resistance Front of Afghanistan’s account.
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NBC News could not independently validate the Taliban’s promises or the resistance denials.
In the meantime, as tension ramped up on the U.S. to support people left powering immediately after the U.S. exit to escape the country, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, mentioned planes carrying U.S. citizens and Afghan interpreters have been staying stopped from having off at an airport in Mazar-i-Sharif.
The Taliban had been holding the travellers “hostage,” he said on “Fox Information Sunday.”
A White Home formal reported the U.S. authorities was not informed of any hostage scenario in Mazar-i-Sharif and did not ensure whether or not any People in america had been at the airport.
A State Section spokesperson, meanwhile, stated officials did not have “trusted signifies” to validate the essential particulars of charter flights, together with the amount of U.S. citizens and members of other priority groups on board, simply because they do not have personnel on the ground.
They additional that they were holding the Taliban to their pledge to permit individuals to freely depart Afghanistan.
Marina LeGree, government director of the U.S. nonprofit Ascend: Leadership By means of Athletics, reported she was hoping to get dozens of at-chance Afghan team members and girls, which include two U.S. eco-friendly card holders, out of the place on the flights.
LeGree explained 19 U.S. citizens were among the wider team of hundreds of folks trying to escape, which include journalists, women of all ages at threat and employees for other nonprofit organizations.
“It truly is a full nightmare,” LeGree, 42, mentioned by cellular phone from Naples, Italy. She stated the Taliban have been negotiating with Kam Air, a non-public Afghan provider organizing the charters.
Kam Air did not answer to a ask for for remark.
Questioned about the status of the constitution planes, Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, explained without having elaborating Monday that they were not ready to go away mainly because the airport was not energetic.
Annie Hill , Laura Saravia and Monica Alba contributed.