Taliban Claims Gains in Panjshir Valley Fighting

Both sides say other suffered heavy casualties

Taliban officials issued a statement Thursday claiming to have made substantial gains in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan, capturing the center of Shutul District.

Fighting centered on the district overnight and into Thursday morning, as the Taliban tried to claim the territory held by remnants of the former government’s forces. Both sides claim the other side sustained substantial casualties.

Some of the claimed figures are so high as to defy credibility. Remnant fighter spokesman Fahim Dashti claimed that in four days of fighting, 350 Taliban were killed and 290 more wounded. He also claimed the Taliban failed to enter Shutul, despite the Taliban showing videos of their fighters in the district.

The two sides had been negotiating to try to settle the disagreement without fighting, with the remnants potentially getting offered some power-sharing deals. So far, the talks have failed, and new fighting is the result.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.