Taliban leaders claim to have surrounded the only major pocket of resistance to their rule in Afghanistan.
Since the group took power last month, anti-Taliban forces in the mountainous Panjshir region have been the main opposition to the regime.
Senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Motaqi called on the resistance forces to put down their weapons, according to Reuters.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is home for all Afghans,” he said.
Motaqi said the Taliban has tried to negotiate with leaders of the resistance, “but unfortunately, unfortunately, without any result.”
He said the Taliban is occupying positions on all sides of the Panjshir valley and that opposition forces could not prevail even with the support of NATO and the U.S.
“But we are still trying to ensure that there is no war and that the issue in Panjshir is resolved calmly and peacefully,” Motaqi said.
“My brothers, we tried our best to solve the Panjshir problem with talks and negotiations … but unfortunately all in vain,” Motaqi said in an audio message to Panjshir residents posted on Twitter, according to Barron’s.
“Now that the talks have failed and [Taliban] have surrounded Panjshir, there are still people inside that don’t want the problems to be solved peacefully,” he added.
“Now it is up to you to talk to them,” he said. “Those who want to fight, tell them it is enough.”
Although the Taliban projected that resistance to its rule would be futile, others have said its campaign has not been uniformly successful.
Bismillah Mohammadi, the former Afghan defense minister, said a Tuesday night assault failed.
“Last night the Taliban terrorists attacked Panjshir, but were defeated,” Mohammadi said, claiming 34 Taliban fighters were killed and 65 wounded.
“Our people should not worry. They retreated with heavy casualties,” he said.
“Perhaps they wanted to try their luck,” National Resistance Front official Fahim Dashti said in a video. “By the grace of God, luck wasn’t on their side.”
Resistance leaders said seven or eight Taliban soldiers were killed Monday night.
Now that Western nations have left the Taliban in undisputed control of most of the nation, other crises loom.
Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, estimates that about 3.5 million Afghans have been displaced by violence, according to The New York Times.
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