Rebels Take Control: Taliban Lose Territory in Afghanistan for First Time

Rebels take control
Taliban lose ground in Afghanistan for the first time

The Taliban have been in power in Afghanistan for a year. Now the resistance movement “National Resistance Front” is said to have recaptured a region in the north of the country for the first time. A spokesman said some of the Taliban have been captured and others have even defected.

In Afghanistan, the national resistance movement “National Resistance Front” (NRF) has claimed part of the northeastern province of Badakhshan from the Taliban. A local resident confirmed that the Shekai district, which has a population of about 30,000, has been under partial rebel control since Monday. For the Taliban, this would be the first area they lose to the resistance movement. They firmly rejected the representation. The information could not be independently verified initially.

An NRF spokesperson told local media that the rebels had captured 10 Taliban fighters, including the district governor. A “large number of former security forces and Taliban members” have defected. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Kabul called the NRF’s statements “lies” and “false rumours”. However, a Taliban representative from Badakhshan confirmed the governor’s arrest to the dpa. Shekai District is located on the border with Tajikistan.

In September, NRF leader Ahmed Massoud spoke out to join forces with other opposition figures and stand united against the Taliban. “The Taliban can only stay in power if we are divided,” he said at an opposition conference of Afghan exiles in Vienna. He wants to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. If, as in the past, they don’t have serious conversations, there needs to be more pressure from the population and the international community.

The militant Islamist Taliban have returned to power in Afghanistan since August 2021. Besides the terrorist militia of the Islamic State, the “National Resistance Front” is the main competitor of the Taliban. The US and Britain, which both had troops in Afghanistan until 2021, do not want to support armed resistance against the Taliban this year. However, fighting in the Panjshir Valley, the birthplace of the NRF, is intensifying.

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