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Battle begins between Taliban, Massoud as negotiations fail

Amin Alemi
Press TV, Kabul

Despite intense negotiations, the Taliban and the national resistance front in Panjshir, headed by Ahmad Massoud, have not reached a peace agreement.

As a result, the Taliban launched a major offensive from three directions on the valley of Panjshir on Wednesday night to capture an area that has yet to fall under the group’s control.

In the meantime, the Taliban officials say the resistance in Panjshir cannot succeed because the valley is completely surrounded by Taliban forces. Therefore the Taliban want Massoud to surrender without bloodshed, a demand strongly rejected by the resistance in Panjshir.

Capturing Panjshir valley in northern Afghanistan has always been considered a big goal for the Taliban, even during their previous rule over 95 percent of Afghanistan before their collapse in 2001.

Ahmad Shah Massoud resisted major Taliban offensives on Panjshir and did not allow them to enter the valley even once. Now, it remains to be seen if Ahmad Massoud, the son of the legendary Afghan commander, can follow in the footsteps of his father who is also considered a national hero in Afghanistan’s constitution.

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