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Taliban abducting children, elderly in Andarab valley: Amrullah Saleh

The Taliban are not allowing food and fuel to reach the Andarab valley in the northern Baghlan province, Afghanistan’s acting president Amrullah Saleh has said amid reports of clashes between the fighters of the hardline Islamist group and resistance forces. “Talibs aren’t allowing food and fuel to get into Andarab valley. The humanitarian situation is dire. Thousands of women and children have fled to the mountains. Since the last two days Talibs abduct children and elderly and use them as shields to move around or do house search,” Saleh tweeted late on Monday.

Saleh also tweeted that the Islamist group’s fighters have come near Panjshir, a known anti-Taliban bastion where some ex-government troops and militia have gathered under the National Resistance Front led by Saleh and Ahmed Massoud. Massoud is the son of famed anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Talibs aren’t allowing food & fuel to get into Andarab valley. The humanitarian situation is dire. Thousands of women & children have fled to mountains. Since the last two days Talibs abduct children & elderly and use them as shields to move around or do house search. — Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 23, 2021

“Talibs have massed forces near the entrance of Panjshir a day after they got trapped in ambush zones of neighbouring Andarab valley and hardly went out in one piece. Meanwhile, the Salang highway is closed by the forces of the Resistance. ‘There are terrains to be avoided’. See you,” Saleh tweeted late on Sunday.

Also watch | Taliban recapture 3 districts as Panjshir resistance refuses to surrender

Saleh’s tweets have come as clashes were reported between the Taliban and resistance forces in the Andarab region. The Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted earlier their fighters are “stationed near Panjshir”, and that the group was trying to resolve this issue “peacefully”.

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On the other hand, Massoud has also called for negotiations to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan but said they will resist if Taliban forces try to enter the Panjshir Valley.

Leaders of the G7 countries will meet later on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and also whether to seek an extension to an August 31 deadline for the evacuation of thousands of people trying to flee the Taliban. The leaders of the United States, Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Canada and Japan will also discuss whether to recognise or sanction a Taliban government.

The Taliban have warned against any extension in the August 31 date and said it would not be granted. Since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, there has been chaos at the airport in the Afghan capital as tens of thousands of people are desperately trying to escape.

Desk Team