The Taliban were celebrating the departure of American forces yesterday declaring the 20-year war was over. Except it wasn’t.
The Times of India reported today at least eight Taliban fighters were killed and more wounded in a probing attack on National Resistance forces in Panjshir last night.
Fahim Dashti, a spokesman for the National Resistance Forces, said the fighting occurred on the western entrance to the valley when the Taliban attacked NRF positions. He said the attack, which may have been a probe to test the NRF defences, was repulsed, with eight Taliban killed and a similar number wounded. Two members of the NRF were also wounded.
This is the second such attack in the last few days. An earlier clash in the Andarab valley between the NRF and the Taliban (illustrated) resulted in 85 insurgents being killed and seven others captured.
The continued resistance to the Taliban is being ignored in the American, British and Canadian press, but it is being picked up by news sources in Tajikistan, India, Russia and even Afghanistan itself at tolo news. This latter will likely not last long as the Taliban begins to exercise more control.
There are three important points to consider when analyzing the immediate future of the conflict. The first is that the Taliban doesn’t have enough troops to launch an all-out assault. Its immediate problem is policing Kabul, a city of four million people. The second point is that the Tajiks in Panjshir have a history of resisting foreign invasions, including a failed attempt to root them out by the Soviets.
And finally, the NRF is being supported by airlifts from neighbouring Tajikistan, roughly 200 miles away.