Taliban captures Panjsir ‘valley of death‘

The Taliban has captured the Panjsir valley, a small area of resistance where the ousted regime in Kabul initiated a stiff defence of their government.

But it was to no avail and now Taliban has an upper hand in the alliance of parties and groupings that is still battling against its renewed rule over the country.

Panjsir is cut into the mountains 150km north of Kabul, populated by ethnic Tajiks.

The Soviets failed to conquer this piece of land though it was subjected to wave after wave of Soviet assaults in the 1980s.

It was in the Panjshir where the Americans, on September 26th, launched its war in Afghanistan with a small CIA team sent to meet legendary Ahmad Shah Masoud’s small army to constitute a formation against the Taliban.

It is Masoud’s 32-year-old son, Ahmad Masoud, who has holed up in the valley, alongside Amrullah Saleh, vice-president of the government that was toppled by the Taliban on August 15th).

But yesterday the Taliban spokesman says it has taken control of the last holdout province.

The opposition forces however pledge to continue fighting.