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Rebels maintain out in Afghan valley as Taliban arrange authorities in Kabul


Taliban forces and fighters loyal to native chief Ahmad Massoud battled in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley on Thursday, greater than two weeks after the Islamist militia seized energy, as Taliban leaders within the capital Kabul labored to kind a authorities.

Panjshir is the final province resisting rule by the Taliban, whose overthrow of the Western-backed authorities as U.S. and different international troops withdrew after 20 years has left the nation in chaos.

All sides mentioned it had inflicted heavy casualties. “We began operations after negotiation with the native armed group failed,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid mentioned. Taliban fighters had entered Panjshir and brought management of some territory, he mentioned.

“They (the enemy) suffered heavy losses.” A spokesman for the Nationwide Resistance Entrance of Afghanistan (NRFA) insurgent grouping mentioned it had full management of all passes and entrances and had pushed again efforts to take Shotul district.

“The enemy made a number of makes an attempt to enter Shotul from Jabul-Saraj, and failed every time,” he mentioned, referring to a city in neighbouring Parwan province.For the reason that Taliban swept into Kabul on Aug. 15, a number of thousand fighters from native militias and remnants of the federal government’s armed forces have massed in Panjshir below the management of Massoud, son of a former Mujahideen commander. They’ve been holding out within the steep valley the place assaults from exterior are troublesome.

Efforts to barter a settlement seem to have damaged down, with either side blaming the opposite for the failure, because the Taliban put together to announce a brand new authorities.

Mujahid mentioned this was a matter of some days away, whereas Taliban official Ahmadullah Muttaqi mentioned a ceremony was being ready on the presidential palace.

HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE

The legitimacy of the federal government within the eyes of worldwide donors and buyers will likely be essential for the financial system because the nation battles drought and the ravages of a 20-year battle that killed an estimated 240,000 Afghans.

Humanitarian organisations have warned of impending disaster and the financial system – reliant for years on many milions of {dollars} of international support – is near collapse.

Many Afghans had been struggling to feed their households amid extreme drought nicely earlier than the Taliban militants seized energy and hundreds of thousands might now face hunger with the nation remoted and the financial system unravelling, support businesses say. “For the reason that fifteenth of August, now we have seen the disaster speed up and enlarge with the approaching financial collapse that’s coming this nation’s approach,” Mary-Ellen McGroarty World Meals Programme nation director in Afghanistan, advised Reuters from Kabul.

The financial system is predicted to sink by 9.7% this monetary yr and 5.2% subsequent yr, Fitch mentioned in a report, including international funding can be wanted to help a extra optimistic outlook.

The Taliban enforced a radical type of sharia, or Islamic regulation, when it dominated from 1996-2001 however has tried to current a extra reasonable face to the world this time, promising to guard human rights and chorus from reprisals towards previous enemies. The US, the European Union and others have solid doubt on such assurances, saying formal recognition of the brand new authorities – and the financial support that may movement from that – is contingent on motion.

The international minister of present EU president Slovenia, Anze Logar, mentioned the bloc was “removed from even tackling this query”, which EU leaders would possibly talk about at summits subsequent month. Some EU states take into account the Taliban a terrorist organisation.

If the EU – the world’s largest support donor – decides to recognise the Taliban authorities, “support is the leverage that the European Union has” in setting circumstances, Logar advised ReutersA supply with direct information of the transfer mentioned Afghan diplomats had been requested to remain in abroad posts in the intervening time.

The Taliban had made clear there would ultimately be change but in addition needed to keep up a way of continuity, the supply mentioned.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to France, Mohammad Azizi, advised a convention in Paris that he remained his nation’s envoy and that the Taliban takeover had no legitimacy. Requested if he had spoken on to the Taliban, he mentioned he had not.

SAFE PASSAGE

The Taliban have promised protected passage in a foreign country for any foreigners or Afghans left behind by the massive airlift which ended when U.S. troops withdrew on Monday. However with Kabul airport nonetheless closed, many had been in search of to flee over land.

Neighbouring Tajikistan mentioned on Thursday it couldn’t afford to soak up Afghan refugees with out assist. Qatar’s international minister mentioned the Gulf state was speaking with the Taliban and Turkey about potential technical help to restart operations at Kabul airport, which might facilitate humanitarian help and probably extra evacuations.

British International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned he would talk about securing protected passage via third nations with regional leaders. “We have to regulate to the brand new actuality” in Afghanistan, he mentioned.



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